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.


100 years ago in Badingham: A ‘Scene’ between farmers…

Obscene language, fighting, threats, and bullocks.

Our story concerns two farmers – Johnson, a farmer from Framlingham, and Gray, a farmer from Badingham.

Gray, the complainant, summoned Johnson, the defendant, to Framlingham Police Court, for assault.

On January 13 that year, Gray had sold Johnson two bullocks. However, just before delivery, Gray changed his mind and told Johnson that he would keep the bullocks, and sell him a heifer in calf instead. Johnson then came to view the heifer, presumably in Badingham, on January 22.

The ‘scene’ occurred during that visit. Johnson told Gray that the price for the heifer was too high. Apparently, ‘without the slightest provocation’ Johnson then struck Gray on the shoulder with an ash stick and attempted to throttle him. A fight ensued and the pair ended up on the ground. Gray gained the upper hand and let Johnson go, but as soon as Johnson regained his feet, he attempted to pick up half a brick – which (perhaps luckily) turned out to be frozen to the ground. Gray then turned Johnson off his premises, leaving Johnson to throw ‘between 40 and 100 stones’ while ‘making use of the most obscene language’. None of the stones struck their mark.

There appears to have been rather more to it than livestock, however.

Johnson made his statement in defence. He said that Gray had accused him of trying to get him into the Army (Johnson died this). This led Gray to attack him and throw him off the farm before going to get his gun, and threatening to blow his brains out if he set foot on the premises again (Gray denied this). Johnson admitted to throwing a stone – just one. He also denied hitting Gray with a stick, saying he left it in his cart (Gray then acknowledged this to be the case).

The defendant, Johnson, was further charged with using obscene language on the highway. This was backed up with a further witness, Gray’s neighbour, Albert Clarke.

Johnson was fined 30s in each case and 10s expenses.

The article, which appeared in the Framlingham Weekly News on 17 February, 1917, ended by reporting that Johnson was overheard, leaving court, saying that he hoped the horse that brought his two accusers to court in Framlingham would be found dead on the return journey, and that they would break their necks.





In-depth report Population Uncategorized

In-depth report: Population

Vision of Britain is an amazing resource for statistics, and those for population are very useful here. The population in Badingham is graphed here between 1801 and 1961, using census figures. It shows a population of 607 in 1801, rising to a peak of 866 in 1831. The population rose particularly fast between 1811 and 1821, remaining stable 1831-41 before declining fairly steadily to 558 in 1911, and, overall, falling more gradually to reach 454 in 1951 and diving a little to 369 in 1961.

The Badingham Parish Plan Report of 2013 contains estimated population figures to 2011, and suggests that the population dip continued on into the 1980s. Since then, the population has gradually built up again, and the census of 2011 recorded 489 individuals. This means that the population had essentially reached the same level as in 1931, when 490 individuals were enumerated.

Estimates of population prior to the introduction of the decennial census in 1801 are more difficult to produce as even where documentation is available it tends to record heads of household. Looking back to Domesday, the village was already large, with 56 households – 23 villagers and 33 smallholders – although it had lost £5 in value since 1066. Further details can be found on At the time, East Anglia was one of the most densely populated parts of the country.

It seems likely that, like other medieval settlements, there was a 14th century population decline associated with the Black Death.

Further evidence will be sought through the course of this study to extrapolate population figures from taxation records, parish and manorial records etc.


In-depth report Uncategorized

In-Depth report: Geography

Lying in the Alde Valley, Badingham is a large parish for Suffolk, located in the east of the county. It is surrounded by (clockwise from north) the parishes of Laxfield, Ubbeston, Heveningham, Peasenhall, Bruisyard, Cransford, Parham, Framlingham and Dennington.

Badingham is about 12 miles from the coast and only three from the centre of Framlingham. Thanks to its fertile soils, most of land is used as pasture or arable farmland, as was the case when the tithe map was created. Small pockets of woodland are still found in the parish although at one time much more of the land would have been forested. The landscape is one of the rolling fields so typical of this part of Suffolk.

On the tithe map, and more so today, the majority of houses were and are found along Mill Road and Low Street (the latter of which follows the course of the River Alde in part), with outlying farms and cottages scattered beyond.

Births, Marriages and Deaths Census People Uncategorized

On every census: Mary Ann Carley (1830-1918)

There can’t be many people that appear on each easily accessible census (1841-1911 inclusive) in the same parish, but Mary Ann Carley (also nee Carley) is one of them.

Born on 27 October 1830, she was baptised at Rendham Independent chapel (England and Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers; RG4; Piece Number 2356), the daughter of Richard and Mary Anne Carley. As the first name on the first schedule for Badingham in 1911, she has the honour of being individual 0001 on my master index!

The 1841 census places her with her parents (farmers) and her brothers and sisters: Samuel, Betsy, Sarah, John and Ellen. (1841 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 18; Page 3). Ten years later, at ‘Old Mill Road’, the family make up was the same but for the addition of Martha, Richard and Robert. (1851 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 10b; Page 4). Next came her marriage:

Marriages – On the 18th, at Rendham Chapel, by the Rev. G. Hinde, Mr Joshua Carley, to Miss Carley, both of Badingham.

(The Suffolk Chronicle; 29 October 1859; Page 2)

By 1861, the couple were farming 119 acres in the village. (1861 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 13c; Page 2). Ten years later the couple had the same acreage, on Laxfield Road, and were living with their 14-year-old niece Alice and a domestic servant. (1871 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 3, Page 3). 

The Chapel was an important part of their lives, and Mary Ann later appears in the Framlingham Weekly News at a bazaar raising funds for it –

“The refreshment tent was to the left of the entrance and this department was under the able management of Mrs Joshua Carley, of Badingham, the prices charged for refreshments being very reasonable and consequently satisfactory to the attendants.”

(Framlingham Weekly News; 6 July 1878; Page 4)

The 1880s show repeated mentions of Mary Ann’s husband Joshua in the local press as he was elected to be a Guardian for the parish of Badingham. In 1881 they remained farming 119 acres (1881 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 3; Page 2) and in 1891, their address was given as Beech Farm, Old Mill Road (1891 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 3; Page 2).

In 1901, Joshua (80) and Mary Ann (70), were enumerated at the White House – the first time it was explicitly recorded as such on the census. (1901 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 2; Page 8). It would be Joshua’s last census. He died on 4 January 1908 ‘having reached the great age of nearly 88 years’. His obituary in the Framlingham Weekly News noted that he had spent most of his manhood in Badingham, entering White House Farm from Mary Ann’s father almost 50 years before (Mill Road, if you turn left at the post box, becomes Laxfield Road, which may explain the census addresses).  The funeral, at Badingham, must have taken place during a period of bad weather as the obituary notes that many of his personal friends were prevented by illness and the ‘unpropitious state of the weather’ from attending. (Framlingham Weekly News; 11 January 1908; Page 4).

Mary Anne was enumerated on Schedule Number One as a farmer in her own right in 1911. She was living at the Old White House, where she had seven rooms (not including the usual exceptions) shared with her widowed sister Ellen Brock, her nephew Samuel Green Carley (the parish enumerator), and two other women. (1911 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED 1, SN 1).

Ten years after her husband’s death, Mary Anne was still at the White House, where she died on 26 August 1918. Like her husband, she was nearly 88. (Framlingham Weekly News; 31 August 1918; Page 3).

How many other Badingham residents can claim a similar record of census entries – and most likely in the same farmhouse at that – remains to be seen.



In-depth report Uncategorized

In-Depth Report: Overview

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.

Births, Marriages and Deaths One Hundred Years Ago Uncategorized

100 years ago in Badingham: Emma Fleming

On 11 January 1917, Emma Fleming died in Badingham at the age of 96. Her death was reported in the Framlingham Weekly News on the following Saturday, 13 January.

Emma, nee Foster, appears on the 1911 census as an 88-year-old widow with her son Thomas, a brick maker, and daughter Harriet on Low Street (address given by the enumerator – their schedule states Church Street). (1911 Census; Badingham, Suffolk; ED1; SN 23)

Emma was born in Badingham but spent much of her married life in Dennington with her husband Robert and their children.

The village’s brick works is clearly visible on contemporary Ordnance Survey mapping. Try the collection digitised by the National Library of Scotland:

Note: as with spelling in many historical records, Fleming is variously recorded as Fleming or Flemming.

250 years ago Births, Marriages and Deaths Uncategorized

250 years ago in Badingham: a note to creditors

On this day in 1767, The Ipswich Journal carried a notice to creditors of the late Mr John Edwards of Badingham.

The notice is fairly standard and asks for all creditors and persons indebted to the effects of Mr Edwards to contact Mr Charles Aldridge within a month of the date of the notice.

At the bottom is the interesting ‘NB’: ‘A neat one horse Chaise and Harness, to be sold cheap at the same place’. 

Also know as a ‘one-hoss shay’: a nifty little number for getting about the parish, and an early mention at that.


Image: Wikipedia Commons – a much later image c1910.



My first ‘real’ blog post will appear in due course.

For now, thank you for stumbling across my page!