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Long Melford, Suffolk

Historical Description

Melford, Long, a village and a parish in Suffolk. The tillage stands on an affluent of the river Stour, near its influx to the Stour at the boundary with Essex, and adjacent to Long Melford station on the G.E.R., 3 miles NNW of Sudbury; is nearly a mile long from N to S, whence its name, and surrounded by a beautiful and richly cultivated country; is a seat of petty sessions and of a court baron; was formerly a market-town, and in the 15th century the seat of a flourishing trade in clothing; and has a post, money order, and telegraph office (R.S.O.) A large cattle fair is held on Whit-Thursday, and a pleasure and peddlery fair on Whit-Friday. There are two or three good inns (one of which, having the sign of the " Bull," was established before 1580), a bank, an iron and brass foundry, manufactories for horsehair cloth and cocoa-nut fibre, and some minor industries. The Melford Literary Institute comprises a reading-room and a lecture hall. There is also a working-men's club, opened in 1881. The parish comprises 5315 acres; population, 3253. Melford Hall, on the east side of the village green, is a fine Tudor brick mansion, with four small round towers in front; belonged formerly to the Savages and the Cordells, and belongs now to the Parker family. Melford Place is an ancient mansion, belonged once tc the Martyns, passed to the Spaldings, and belongs now to the Westropps. Kentwell Hall, a picturesque Elizabethan mansion, standing in a park of 130 acres, belongs to the Bence family. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; gross value, £1000 with residence. The church, a large and beautiful building of striped flint and white stone, is chiefly in the Perpendicular style, and dates from 1450 to 1480, with the exception of the tower, which is of brick, and was erected in 1725; consists of chancel, nave, aisles, transept, S porch, and western tower; contains some ancient brasses, some interesting tombs and monuments, a very fine carved stone reredos erected in 1879, a stone memorial pulpit, and some beautiful stained windows. At the east end of the church, but quite distinct from it, is the Lady chapel, an elegant structure of flint and ashlar in chequers in the Perpendicular style, built by the Cloptons in 1496. On the south side of the churchyard stands the hospital formed in 1580 by Sir William Cordell for twelve poor men and two poor women, which enjoys an endowment of about £1000 a year. There are several other valuable charities, and there are a mission church erected in 1885, and Congregational and Primitive Methodist chapels. Abbot Reeve or John de Melford and Bishop Johnson were natives.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountySuffolk 
Ecclesiastical parishLong Melford Holy Trinity 
Poor Law unionSudbury 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Long Melford from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Suffolk is available to browse.


Online maps of Long Melford are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Suffolk papers online:

Postal districtCO10
Post TownSudbury