Each One-Place Study owner is encouraged to create an in-depth report about their place of interest, with the aim of creating a solid foundation for research and to answer some of the initial questions that an interested party – perhaps someone with ancestors there – might have.
I have decided to blog each part of this as I create it, before compiling it into a report for download. This way, the information can be put online in chunks, and the blog format allows comments from others who may have information to include.
The society request that the report is organised into sections, the first of which is the ‘Overview’, a first draft of which appears here:
Badingham is a relatively large parish by land area, situated in east Suffolk a little north-east of the well-known castle town of Framlingham. Today, many will know the White Horse pub, which is accessed off the A1120 tourist route to the coast, just before a stretch of Roman Road. The majority of housing is centred on Low Street, which follows the River Alde, and Mill Road, with a scattering of farmhouses beyond. The church of St John the Baptist has some surviving Norman details and sits on a rise above Low Street.
White’s 1844 Directory describes it as such –
BADINGHAM, a widely scattered village, having several assemblages of houses, near the sources of the river Alde, from 3 to 4 1/2 miles NNE of Framlingham, has in its parish 864 souls, and 3200 A. of fertile land, in the manors of Badingham Hall, Colston Hall and Oakenhill Hall…a great part of the parish is freehold…The Church (St. John) is an ancient structure, with a tower and five bells…The Rev has a commodious rectory-house, with beautiful pleasure grounds…The Primitive Methodists have a small chapel…A house, occupied rent-free by poor parishioners, was purchased in 1801.
Further, the directory lists two pubs – the Bowling Green and the White Horse, as well as two beer houses. There was also a tailor, miller, carpenter, schoolmaster, plumber and glazier, and multiple shoe makers, grocers, wheelwrights, bricklayers and blacksmiths. The directory points out that the Parish Clerk, Joseph Read, was no less than 90 years old. Unsurprisingly, the majority of men listed under the Badingham entry were farmers: 28 in total.
Today, getting on for 200 years later, most of the acreage in the parish is still farmed. The school has closed and children now go to Dennington for primary education. While the Bowling Green pub has gone, the White Horse continues on. The ‘rectory-house’ described in the directory is now a private house – the vicar is now housed in a smaller, modern house. The Mission House and workhouse have also closed, although material clues to their existence remain.
While Suffolk records have, until recently, been relatively difficult to access from outside the county, this is changing. Details of records available on and offline will be described in future posts, being updated as and when necessary.