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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 opendomesday.org. 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.

 

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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.

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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.