The Hadleigh SocietySep 2020
Newsletter Index Up Sep 2020 May 2020


Dear Members

As COVID-19 remains amongst us, we do hope all of you are staying well and managing to cope positively with curtailment of your social activities. We shall re-commence Society meetings just as soon as it is completely safe to do so. To keep us in touch with one another in the meantime, committee members have brought together a larger than usual COVID-19 edition of the Hadleigh Society Newsletter. Hopefully, something in it will catch your interest during this continuing period of restriction and awaken pleasant memories of the Society.

Our June 2020 AGM was successfully held via e-mail. Sadly, the March, May, August meetings, and now that scheduled for 7th October, have had to be cancelled due to government restrictions and closure of the Guildhall building. The forthcoming October talk was on the new County Archive, to be known as ‘The Hold’; we hope to re-schedule this. Sadly, with the newest COVID restraints, our planned garden visit to Lavenham Hall (Wed 23/9/20) is no longer permissible.

Collection of members’ fees has been suspended, as advised in our last newsletter. Mavis, our membership secretary, will start to send out reminders once meetings resume; current membership will be valid until then. Renewal dates for subs will therefore have been extended by the number of months meetings have had to be cancelled. Mavis will advise members of their revised renewal dates.

Behind the scenes Hadleigh Society is functioning much as usual. Committee members are in regular e-mail contact in relation to ongoing business and planning applications are still examined meticulously and the ensuing comments still make their way to Babergh’s Planning Department. The programme for 2021 has been finalized in recent weeks and can be viewed on the back cover of this newsletter. We now have a COVID-19 page on our website; this will be updated when appropriate.

We send our very good wishes to each and every one of you.

Margaret Woods, Graham Panton, Richard Fletcher, Chris Drake, Ray Whitehand, Hattie Bawden and Mavis Winders

Garden Visit CANCELLED, Thu 23 Sep

The visit to LAVENHAM HALL on Wednesday 23 September has been cancelled because of current COVID restrictions.  We hope to be able to arrange sometime next year.

Meeting Cancellation

The meeting planned for Wednesday 7th October 2020 has had to be cancelled

A Perfect Day

By Lindsay Panton

Visit to Shelley organised by Hattie Bawden, September 19th 2019

Blessed with one of those idyllic autumn days of the last warming rays of a September sun and the azure blue of a cloudless sky, we gathered outside the pretty little church of All Saints Shelley before entering its coolness. The first thing to catch my eye was an unusual three-pointed blue and gold gothic organ that was apparently brought over in parts from a Woodbridge church by the then church warden in 1977. Story has it that he laid all the pieces out on the church floor, not knowing how to put them together!

It is hard to believe that I have never visited such an interesting little church. Admittedly it is remotely tucked away deep in the Suffolk countryside, yet it is only a few miles South of Hadleigh. Jane Crowe, our host, was kind enough to tell us about her village church of which she is clearly immensely proud; her enthusiasm was infectious. There was much to tell us.

The wood carvings in the church are exquisite and worth a look, as is the effigy of Dame Margaret Tylney. Two hatchments hang on the north church wall. A hatchment is a large coat of arms often painted on a wooden frame usually diamond shaped. Such funerary hatchments were placed over the entrance door of the deceased's residence at the level of the second floor, and remained in situ for six to twelve months, after which they were removed to the parish church. The practice developed in the early 17th century from the custom of carrying a heraldic shield before the coffin of the deceased, then leaving it for display in the church.

The vestry was originally a chapel built for the Tylney family after the Reformation, as nearby Shelley Hall was the family seat at the time. Thomas Tylney married Elizabeth Gosnold Tylney, sister of Bartholomew Gosnold, who founded Jamestown, Virginia the first English settlement in America, and is buried within the church there.

 In 2005, after the discovery near Jamestown of a grave believed to be that of Bartholomew Gosnold, the remains entombed in Shelley were exhumed so that a DNA comparison could be made. According to Jane who was present at the time, this caused major interest in this corner of Suffolk; indeed, at one point the church was descended upon by a coachload of American tourists.

But identification of the Jamestown body remains uncertain, as the body in All Saints’ Church – thought to be Elizabeth’s – turned out to be that of a much younger woman, possibly Anne Framlingham, who had married Philip Tylney, of Shelley Hall, in 1561 and died around 1601.

But time now to leave the dark interior of the church and move out into the sunshine again to visit nearby Shelley House to discover the delights of Jane and Michael’s, absolutely magnificent hidden country garden perched in a rural valley within an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The generous grounds, which surround the Grade II listed Tudor hunting lodge, sit above a narrow country lane. The lane passes alongside one edge of the garden following the course of the River Brett which bubbles along well below one of the terraces that provides access to a large table at the end of which is a shady wooden bower covered in ivy, with a bench seat protecting a mosaic painting of a colourfully dressed Tudor lady and gentleman.

This sumptuous garden has various areas around the house each with its own character. At the front, bordered by a low metal fence is a formal box parterre surrounding a lawn and colourful beds of geraniums and roses with honeysuckle clambering up the wall of the house. There is a paved path running through the garden leading up groups of steps to a wrought iron gate.

As I walked through the gate of the main garden an impressive vista was spread out in front of us. Everywhere I looked there was an abundance of planting; to my right there was a wide patio area with tables placed and umbrellas supplying welcome shade in the heat of the afternoon. A large lawn provides space to enjoy the borders but also allowing the trees to take centre stage. Further towards the back of the lawn there are various conifer plantings interspersed with sculptures including deer. The deep borders were rich with herbaceous plants and filled with drifts of planting both formal and informal. I noted at the front of the borders there were many irises each group having been neatly trimmed and tied after flowering. I imagined the majestic sight they surely provide when they are in flower.

Another side of the house is enclosed within a low brick retaining wall beside a gravel drive topped with herbs, salvia, and lavender. A profusion of pink and white roses climbs the walls on this aspect of the house.

There is a walled vegetable garden and above it is a cluster of wooden buildings, formerly stables built as a studio for Mr Crowe. What inspiring views there were from the studio windows. We were warmly invited to take in the studio and fortunate to observe some of his paintings. Michael retired from a career in the city in 2000 and took up painting again having studied at the Royal Academy drawing school. His hobby became his passion leading in 2017 to winning a prestigious award and was voted East of England Artist of the Year with his ‘Big sky at Felixstowe Ferry’.

Having wandered round the garden we were all ready for a welcome cup of tea and a variety of homemade A group of people sitting at a table with a blue umbrellacakes provided through the generous hospitality of our hosts. Refreshments were served from a large, tiled summer cottage, itself surrounded by a rockery wall with colourful plants spilling over it. The bower was an ideal place to rest and enjoy our refreshments. A perfect way to end a perfect day. A huge thank you to Jane and Michael our gracious hosts for making it so.




Meet The Society’s Executive Committee

With the continuing lockdown preventing social and societal meetings it was thought you might like to put a face to your Executive Committee members and learn of the activities they undertake to keep the Society ticking over.  So here is the Committee, warts and all! They take this opportunity to wish you well, and hope to see you at Society Talks once permitted to re-commence.

Jan Byrne - President.

A founding member of the Society whose knowledge of Hadleigh’s past and present is legendary as well as is her long involvement in public service on the Hadleigh Town Council.

Margaret Woods - Chair

As well as acting as an excellent Chair for several years she has been involved in studying and translating old Medieval records of Hadleigh from the 13C to C15 which culminated in her recent publication of Medieval Hadleigh: The Chief Manor and the Town

Chris Drake - Treasurer

A resident of Hadleigh for some 27 years he has been a long-time member of the Society (Life Member since 1999) and the Societys Treasurer for seventeen years

Richard Fletcher - Secretary

A recent member to the Committee he uses his extensive knowledge from a career in Town and Country planning to guide the Committee on current planning matters as well as dealing with the Societys administrative work.

Graham Panton - Webmaster and Newsletter Editor

A vitally important member of the Committee with his great knowledge of the Web and matters digital and electronic, brought from his engineering career in telecoms. He has lived in Hadleigh for 50 years and been a long-term member of the Society and the Committee. He currently also volunteers as manager for the Little Hall Museum at Lavenham.

Ray Whitehand - Programme Coordinator

Ray will be known for the many articles and talks he has written and given on historic events and subjects in the Hadleigh area, and is well qualified to trawl the speaker circuits to create a varied programme of talks throughout the year for the Society

Mavis Winders - Membership Secretary

Another relatively recent member to the Committee, most of you will know her as the person who welcomes you at the door of the Society Talks to sign you in, whilst her other tasks are to welcome new members, collect subscriptions. She is also the author of reports on the various talks given at each meeting and published in Newsletters.

Hattie Bawden - Visits Organiser

Has been both a long-time resident and member of the Society and the Committee, previously heavily involved in environmental and planning matters based upon her architectural training she has recently stepped back a little, and taken on the role of finding and organising Society visits, whilst still retaining an important input into planning/developmental issues concerning the town.

Hadleigh’s ‘Local List’ is coming to fruition

by Richard Fletcher

Over the past 3 years there have been regular reports from the Society on the progress in compilation of a Local List of Non-Designated Heritage Assets for Hadleigh. Today it can be said this survey is now 99% complete; the final remaining phase is to undertake public consultation.

But what is a Local List? Essentially, whilst we are probably all familiar with Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and Scheduled Ancient Monuments, which are protected by legislation and collectively referred to as “Designated Heritage Assets”, there are many other aspects of the physical heritage that contribute to the historic, architectural or cultural character of the country but do not enjoy any form of legislative protection.

This omission can be compensated, to a degree, by compiling for an area what is known as a Local List of Non-Designated Heritage Assets. Local Lists can play an important role in building and reinforcing a sense of local character and distinctiveness in the historic environment, as part of the wider range of designations. Local Lists enable the significance of any building or site on the list to be better taken into account in the application of planning policies and planning applications that affect the building or site or its setting.

Local Lists thus complement national designations in building a sense of place and history for localities and communities. Local heritage listing is intended to highlight heritage assets which are of local heritage interest in order to ensure they are given due consideration when change is being proposed.

These local heritage properties are defined as Non-Designated Heritage Assets and a Local List can include:-

(i)                  A building, in whole or part.

(ii)                The curtilage or outbuildings of a locally or nationally listed building.

(iii)              A group of buildings.

(iv)               An archaeological site.

(v)                 A designed landscape, park, or garden.

(vi)               A site or landscape with exceptional local or national historic connections.

(vii)             An outdoor artistic feature.

(viii)           A memorial or monument.

(ix)               An item of outdoor furniture or signage.

(x)                 A landmark.

In Hadleigh some 237 properties have now been assessed of which 173 are considered to retain sufficient original constructional character to merit inclusion in the Local List. The other 64, due to having experienced major alterations to their original appearance, were not thought sufficiently merit- worthy. Most properties included were from the Victorian period, many were residential with a large number of early, mid, and late Victorian terraced cottages, found principally in Angel and Benton Streets. There were, however, a few late Georgian buildings as well as several timber framed buildings of C16 / C17 origins. In the Local List each property or group of properties is devoted a page comprising photographs, a brief description of the property, its age and footnotes on sources of information and whether it is in the Hadleigh Conservation Area. An example of the format is shown below.

Wheatsheaf House, 4, High Street

Designed as a late Georgian town house, it operated as a public house continuously for at least 160 years as it was advertised for sale in 1828 even then a going concern as the Wheatsheaf Inn and only ceased trading in 1994. It was then restored and occupied as a private residence until 2018, when it became an office for a company of Independent Financial Advisers.

The building is double fronted and built in a light red brick. The brickwork is an example of tuck pointing, where a red mortar is used to match the bricks and then given a very fine white line piped on in lime to give the effect of fine rubbed joints. The building has a hipped slate roof. The central door with fanlight, is recessed within a white semi-circular doorcase, over which is a fine rubbed red brick semi-circular arch, with similar quality fine rubbed red brick flat arches over the windows  The windows appear to retain the original 6/6 and 8/8 timber sash windows. The property also has a range of outbuildings in its rear yard, comprising principally a red brick and slate roof, former coach house.

In Conservation Area

1B Late Georgian & 2E, 2J & 3C as a building which contributes to the townscape and character of the conservation area and its connection with the social scene.    (see Hadleigh Suffolk - Then and Now,  R.Kennell, 2006)

This draft Local List,  with these type of pages, will soon be placed on the Society’s website, so that members and the public can inspect the properties included and rejected; these people will then be invited to express their opinion as to whether they are in agreement. There will also be an opportunity for third parties to suggest other non-designated Hadleigh properties to be considered for inclusion in the final list.

Can You Identify These Hadleigh Buildings?

Here is a small quiz to see how well you know Hadleigh’s lesser known buildings.

Answers on page 19.




















A Mother’s touching tribute to her daughter

In memory of the Martin family of the Hadleigh area.

By Ray Whitehand

The surname of Martin has been a well-established local family name for over 500 years. As early as 1495 Roger Martin was bailiff and rent collector for the manor of Hadleigh Hall. In the 1630s Francis Martin invested in the 20 acre farmstead known as Colburn’s in Layham. By the time he passed the farm to his son Balteshazzar in 1678, it was described as ‘a messuage’ covering in total 43 acres 2 roods 14 perches. When the farmstead was finally sold out of the Martin family to John Rand in 1804, it had grown to over 200 acres.

On 17 January 1710 Thomas Martin of Hadleigh, son of Balteshazzar, married Mary Aldrich of Stowmarket, a single woman aged 20, the daughter of William Aldrich an apothecary of Stowmarket. Thomas & Mary soon set up home in Barrard’s Hall, Whatfield

The following decade saw the Martin ‘empire’ continue to expand. More property was purchased in Layham, Semer, Hadleigh and Whatfield.

In February 1726 William Aldrich bestowed properties in Stowmarket on his son-in-law, with the condition that the properties would eventually be shared amongst his grandchildren, those begotten of the bodies of Thomas and Mary. Between 1713 and 1729 Thomas and Mary had 13 children, all baptised in St Margaret’s Whatfield. Thomas (1713), Elizabeth (1714), William (1716), Mary (1718), Elizabeth (1719), Sarah (1721), Baltashazzar and Susan (1722), Lydia (1724), John (1725), Richard (1727) Robert (1728) and Amy (1729).

The size of the Martin ‘dynasty’ is demonstrated in Thomas’ Will, which he wrote in 1729.  Following the usual religious pre-amble, his first action in the will was to give wife Mary an estate in Stowmarket and Stowupland, ‘now in the occupation of Thomas Butler and others’. This was probably the property her father had handed to his son-in-law in trust for his grandchildren. 

Mary also received some tenements in Whatfield which, after her death, were to be passed onto their son Thomas, together with ‘all household goods furniture and implements in my dwelling house in Whatfield together with the chaise, harness and pair of horses’. Thomas (snr.) then made a series of bequests to his six youngest children.

To summarise these complex bequests: Following the early death of young Richard and the confinement of son Thomas (jnr.) as an ‘imbecile’, Colburns, Layham finished up in the hands of son Robert. Two other farms in Layham and Hadleigh ‘now in the occupation of Richard Reason and Stephen Hayward yeomen’, (thought to be Clay Wall farm in Benton Street), were conditionally passed to daughter Mary, while daughter Sarah Martin was given the farm in Semer(sic), ‘now in the tenure of Mrs Hyam widow’.

Finally he instructed his executors to continue to work ‘a farm in Hadley called Payton hall for a small term of years, and replacing stock as she shall think fitte, towards raising the sum of four hundred pounds, to be paid to daughter Sarah Martin at her age of one and twenty years as a further advancement of her fortune’.

Thomas concluded by naming ‘my loving wife Mary Martin, my very good friend Robert Martin and Mr Richard Chandler’ as executors. He then signed his name in the presence of witnesses Anne Stratford, Cattian Gage and Jam Buddle, who each also signed their names. The will was probated at London on the 6 July 1731 to Maria Martin the relict, with Robert Martin and Richard Chandler in attendance.

Thomas Martin died on 9 June 1731 at the age of just 49. He was buried in Whatfield churchyard on 12 June, near to his father Balteshazzar. 

Sadly Thomas and his wife Mary buried five of their own children, a painful experience so hard for a parent to bear. But for Mary this was not the end of her grief for just ten years after her husband’s death, young Mary (jnr.) now married to Revd John Church of Boxford; died in childbirth in 1741. It would then seem the widowed Mary arranged to have two large tablets placed either side of the sacred east window of St Margaret’s, as the compassionate gesture of a grieving wife and mother. The epitaphs, now sadly illegible, were subsequently transcribed by local antiquarian Charles Partridge of Hadleigh, who died in 1955 age 83.

On 14 November 1745 the burial of Mary Martin took place in the churchyard of Whatfield, St Margaret. Sadly no one saw fit to include any memorial to her.

Main sources:

Probate will of: Thomas Martin of Whatfield  PROB11 1882 129.

Charles Partridge Monument Inscriptions: Whatfield, St Margaret’s, J426 100

The tablet to the south of the east window commemorates Thomas and his dad. It also highlights the number of children the parents had to bury.

Near this marble lie the bodies of


died 30th June 1724 aged 70.

His son Mr THO. MARTIN of Whatfield died 9th June 1731, aged 49.

the latter by his w MARY, only daughter of Mr WILL ALDRICH of Stowmarket

had 13 children, 5 of whom he lived to bury here: ELIZ. 2nd October 1718, aged 4, another ELIZ. 12th October 1720, aged 9 months. WILL. 11th July 1721, aged 5. BELTESHAZZAR 20th October 1722, aged 2 months, and JOHN 31st Dec. 1727, aged 2.”

The tablet to the north of the east window, (just about still legible) gives this very endearing memorial to daughter Mary Church. 

Near this marble lies the body of MARY

the wife of JOHN CHURCH  RR. of Boxford 

and second daughter of Mr THOMAS & Mrs MARY MARTIN of Barrard’s Hall, 

who was born 10th March 1717 

and died ye 7th May 1741.

She left an only daughter SARAH 

of whom with a resignation truly christian 

she died in childbed: 

but who dying ye 10th of Novem. following 

soon returned to her mother. 

Among many other most amiable 

qualities & accomplishments, her goodness 

of mind & sweetness of temper & purity 

of religion [like that uninterrupted 

Happiness with which she blessed her husband] 

were in this age perhaps seldom equaled. 

That her name is written here may 

seem a matter of small moment. 

But her relations & friends have a comfort 

unspeakable in being by all humble 

hopes assured that her name is written 

in the book of life.

The Hadleigh Society Noel Turner Award

By Richard Fletcher

For the past 30 years, since 1988, the Society has asked its members to suggest building projects, whether new build or restorations, that could merit an award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to improving, or conserving the local character, heritage, and environment of Hadleigh.

Nominations Sought

To be successful a Nomination for an award requires that the building or works should:-

-                      be sympathetic with their surroundings,

-                      integrate with their surroundings,

-                      display a high quality of workmanship, and

-                      be an example of good practice.

The awards are not made annually, but solely when a merit worthy project comes to fruition, so occasionally there can be more than one award given in a year, followed by several years with no suitable candidate presented. Since 1988 some 17 Awards have been given for a variety of projects ranging from new housing, to restoration of listed buildings, to new street paving schemes.

The Society over the next year is inviting nominations for candidate building projects in Hadleigh to be considered for an Award. Nominations, if any are received, will be considered during the next financial year. These should be sent to the Honorary Secretary at  giving details of the address, the nature of the building project, the owners and builders, and finally a brief outline on why it is thought worthy for an award.

To demonstrate how varied in nature the building projects can be here is a full list of the 17 Awards issued to date.


Edwards of Hadleigh - for renovation of their High Street Premises


(i)                  11 High Street, for alterations and refurbishment of shop

(ii)                Odds and Ends House at 131 High Street, Hadleigh for conversion of adjoining stables and outbuildings,

(iii)              28 High Street, for Richard Jackson Partnerships office extensions at the rear in the Old Fire Station Yard.


Toppesfield Mill House weir for work on the relief weir adjoining Toppesfield Mill House, presented to Mr Barritt, the local Engineer for the National Rivers Authority Anglian Region


(i)                  The Old Lodging House, Benton Street to Mr and Mrs Peter Jarvis for a new dwelling, and

(ii)                The White Lion Hotel, High Street which had been derelict for some years and was sympathetically converted by Mr Ian Newman of East Anglian Renovations to private accommodation and provision of a well-designed mews of housing to the rear.


No 100 High Street Hadleigh, for restoration of derelict 15th century medieval hall to which a large hearth had been added in the 17th century and in the 18th Century i

t had been re-fronted. This recent restoration created a compact dwelling of considerable charm having all modem facilities and which does much to enhance the appearance of the Northern part of the High Street.


(i)                  Andrews butcher's shop in the High Street was nominated for its recent refurbishment.

(ii)                Station Yard, off Station Road, for conversion of an old Maltings building to housing


(i)                  Northwest side of the High Street for progressing a practical pavement scheme which emphasised the group value of listed buildings within the Hadleigh Conservation Area.

(ii)                The Ipswich and Norwich Co-Operative Society, High Street, for the sensitive design of its supermarket extension and pedestrian link, whilst retaining the character of the High Street frontage.


(i)                  The Flying Chariot, 92 Benton Street - for the new garden wall and sensitive improvements to the setting of The Flying Chariot in Benton Street.

(ii)                Hadleigh Guildhall - for two major projects accomplished. The first was in 1995 with the redesign and layout of the garden, officially opened in 1997; then in 2002 was the refurbishment of the Top Room on the second floor of the Market House. This included installation of a spiral staircase to provide access, and the repair and re- assembly of the Medieval screen, now on permanent loan from John Bloomfield who rescued it from 50 High Street, Hadleigh.


No 48 George Street for the sympathetic restoration and repair of this Grade II* medieval Hall House.


(i)                  Richard and Ruth Abel of East House, George Street, Hadleigh in recognition of their exceptional renovation of East House, an important building in the town which came close to being lost.

(ii)                Jason Thompson for the high standard of craftsmanship in building the new boundary wall to East House, George Street.


Answers to the Buildings Quiz
1.	Cemetery Wall Pier, Friars Road 
2.	17 Gallows Hill; 123
3.	The Limes, Benton Street.
4.	155 George Street 
5.	Farm track Tunnel under Railway Walk 
6.	Former Water Pump House vent, Lady Lane
7.	Ainger Holbrows, High Street 
8.	Cosford Bridge House, Mill Lane 
9.	Cross Maltings Folly, High Street 
10.	Primrose Cottage, Pond Hall Road
11.	81 Angel Street 
12.	Ye Olde Pest House, 14 The Green 


Programme of Events 2020/1

Tue 8 Dec

Medieval Town of Hadleigh

Margaret Woods

Wed 3 Feb 2021

River Brett and its Environment

Will Akast

Tue 23 Mar

16th Century Suffolk Maps and Cartographers

Vivienne Aldous

Wed 5 May

The Black Death in Suffolk

Mark Bailley

Tue 15 Jun

AGM, short talk on Hadleigh's Overlooked Heritage

Richard Fletcher

Wed 4 Aug

Hadleigh Airfield

Peter McGee

Tue 5 Oct

Suffolk Relocated Buildings

Liza Psarianos

Wed 1 Dec

At The Field's Edge, Adrian Bell and the English Countryside

Richard Hawkings

Meetings are held in Hadleigh Town Hall Dining Room, 8pm, unless otherwise notified.  Entry is free for members, £3 for non-members.

Honorary Secretary

Richard Fletcher

6 Lister Road




01473  827891

All views expressed are those of the contributors and are not necessarily those of the Hadleigh Society

Other Contacts




Margaret Woods

01473 823798

History Group

Sue Angland

01284 830034

Environment Group & Planning

Dick Fletcher

01473  827891


Mavis Winders

01473 824359

Website & Editor

Graham Panton

01473 823503

Newsletter delivery

The Hadleigh Society website has past newsletters etc at