In-depth report: History

Archaeological finds in Badingham stretch from as long ago as the palaeolithic era. The parish has produced flint axes, part of a bronze-age blade, an iron-age silver coin, Roman brooches, medieval pottery, and much more.

Small amounts of ancient woodland are still in existence, although most of this has made way for enclosed agriculture, both arable and pasture, over many centuries. A village green (or rather, Badingham Green and Bowling Green) existed once, but were enclosed before the first OS map (see Hodskinson’s 1783 map).

Perhaps one of the best known historical features is a stretch of Roman Road – known to us as the ‘Badingham Straight’ (just occasionally, as the ‘Peasenhall Straight!’). If followed on a larger scale map, the course of the road can be seen far beyond Badingham.

Besides the church of St John the Baptist, which exhibits Norman remains but is a largely 13th Century structure, historic buildings (or indications of) include the site of a medieval, moated Badingham Hall and further moated buildings at Moat Farm, Okenhill Hall and Colston Hall. The village also boasts a number of listed buildings and timber framed barns.  The parish has a medieval windmill mound, as well as the site of the ‘New Mill’ which largely burnt down in 1916.

Three manors are listed on the Manorial Documents Register (now part of The National Archives’ Discovery catalogue): Oakenhill Hall Manor, Badingham Manor and Colston Manor. Known records are largely held at Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich.

More recent archaeology includes the old brickworks on Mill Road, Rooks Bridge, and a Royal Observatory Corps Monitoring Post.

For further information on Badingham’s historical finds and features, the Suffolk Heritage Explorer website is worth a visit. For more about the church, Simon Knott’s Suffolk Churches site is helpful. Photographs can be found in the Images of England archive.

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