1 ancient pub
Population (2011) of Parham: 263.
Local licensing authority for Parham is Suffolk Coastal.
A small rather scattered village with two large commons, one at North Green the other at Silverlace Green, and a smaller common at Mill Green. Parham was recorded in Domesday as "Perreham". Most houses flank the B1116 and The Street leading to St Mary the Virgin Church.
The new village sign was unveiled on May Day bank holiday 2018.
May I just describe the features depicted on the sign?
To the centre left you will see the pears hanging from the tree, from which Parham derives its name dating back to Saxon times.
Unmistakable is the outline of St. Mary’s church dating back probably to the 12th century. A magnificent structure built when the river was probably much bigger than today, allowing the flints used in its construction to be barged in.
At the top you will see the figure of the Woodwose, a wild man, derived from the 15th century carvings on the archway to Moat Hall. These are often found on mediaeval architecture in Suffolk and Norfolk and can be seen on the Willoughby family coat of arms. The green man with his cudgel down is a friendly sign. It means he has been converted to Christianity and is a sign of peacefulness.
The framework and arch of the sign depicts the church Lichgate which was made of oak by the late Roy Frost’s father sometime around 1895 to commemorate the Royal Jubilee. This represents the stylish work of local craftsmen during the 19th century and to a certain extent shows the self- sufficiency of village life at that time.
The B-17 Flying Fortress just under the archway depicts our recent history. How the tranquillity of Parham changed in 1943 with the arrival of 275 B-17s, 3000 young American Airmen, their Jeeps, and Bicycles, and the Friday Night dances. But, none, more so than the fatal crash on the Methodist chapel shortly after take-off of a B 17 on 27th Dec. 1944, just a short time before the 9 o’clock Sunday Morning service. Fortunately, there were no civilian fatalities. The crew were all killed as the bombs exploded and almost every house along the street had its windows broken. To this day you can see the evidence of damage to the tree line on the other side of this road. The B-17 on the sign will serve as a tribute to those 742 young Americans who gave their lives helping us keep our freedom. It will be much appreciated by descendants returning to see where their relatives were based in the war.
A post mill used to stand on the road towards Cransford, but it was demolished after being tailwinded in late 1944.
Parham Station was on the Framlingham branch line. It opened in June 1859 and closed in November 1952.
RAF Framlingham was operational from July 1943, but today this airfield is better known as Parham. Using B17s the USAF 390th Bomb Group were soon involved in some very difficult operations. By April 1945 they had completed 300 missions for the loss of 144 aircraft. Also, and most extraordinarily, Master Sergeant Hewitt Dunn personally completed 104 missions as a gunner including nine trips to Berlin. Today Parham has one of the few remaining WW2 Air Museums in the country that has connection with the US (open Sun and Wed). Meanwhile the old air base now supports light industrial units providing local employment.
Some historical information from English Heritage's National Monuments Record.
Some details from "Suffolk Airfields in WW2" by Graham Smith.