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Stowmarket, Suffolk

Historical Description

Stowmarket, a market-town, the head of a petty sessional division and county court district, and a parish, in Suffolk. The town stands on the navigable river Gipping and on the G.E.R., on which it has a station, 12 miles NW from Ipswich, 14 SE from Bury St Edmunds, and 75 by road or 80 by rail from London. It is an ancient place, and had two churches at the period of the Domesday survey. It was given by Henry II. to Osyth Abbey, and was at one period a corporate town and sent a member to Parliament. At the present day it comprises several well-built old streets, with many new ones, is governed by an urban district council of fifteen members, and has a good supply of water drawn from an artesian well. The public buildings include a corn exchange and assembly-room, a literary institute and young men's society, a court-house, a county police station, and a parish room, used for parochial and social meetings. The market for corn, horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs is held on Thursday. There are a head post office and two banks. The industries include the manufacture of chemical manures, gun cotton, agricultural implements, iron founding, and brewing, and a good trade is carried on in corn, malt, timber, slate, and coal. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Norwich; gross value, £259 with residence. The church, dedicated to St Peter and St Mary, is a spacious building of flint in the Decorated and Early English styles, consisting of long chancel with a side chapel, nave, aisles, N and S porches, and an embattled western tower. It contains some ancient and interesting tombs and monuments. There are Roman Catholic, Baptist, Congregational, and Primitive Methodist chapels, and two places of worship used by the Brethren The parish comprises 2158 acres; population of the civ2 parish, 4384; of the ecclesiastical, 4339.

Stowmarket or North-Western Parliamentary Division of Suffolk was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, and returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 55,593. The division includes the following:- Blackbourn-Ashfield (Magna), Badwell Ash, Bardwell, Barnham, Barningham, Coney Weston, Elmswell, Enston, Fakenham, Hepworth, Hinderclay, Honington, Hopton, Hunston, Ixworth, Ixworth Thorpe, Knettishall, Langham, Livermere (Magna), Norton, Pakenham, Rickinghall (Inferior), Rymer, Sapiston, Stanton, Stowlangtoft, Thelnetham, Troston, Walsham-Ie-Willows, Wattisfield, Weston Market; Lackford - Barton Mills, Brandon, Cavenham, Elveden, Eriswell, Freckenham, Herringswell, Icklingham, Lakenheath, Mildenhall, Santon Downham, Tuddenham, Wangford, Worlington; Newmarket (part of)-Dalham, Exning, Gazeley, Kentford, Moulton, St Mary (Newmarket); Thingoe and Thedwestry (part of)-Ampton, Barrow, Barton Magna, Beyton, Bradfield Combust, Bradfield (St Clare), Bradfield (St George), Chimney Mills, Culford, Denham, Drinkstone, Felsham, Flempton, Fomham (All Saints), Fornham (St Genevieve), Fornham (St Martin), Gedding, Hardwick, Hawstead, Hengrave, Hesset, Horringer, Ickworth, Ingham, Lackford, Livermere (Parva), Nowton, Rattlesden, Risby, Rougham, Rushbrooke, Saxham (Magna), Saxham (Parva), Stanningfield, Thurston, Timworth, Tostock, Westley, West Stow, Whelnetham (Magna), Whelnetham (Parva), Woolpit, Wordwell; Stowmarket-Buxhall, Coombs, Creeting (St Peter), Finborough (Magna), Finborough (Parva), Gipping, Harleston, Haughley, Old Newton, Onehouse, Shelland, Stowmarket, Stowupland, Wetherden; Bury St Edmunds, municipal borough; Thetford, municipal borough (the part in Suffolk).

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 parishStow-Market St. Peter and St. Mary 
Poor Law unionStow 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Stowmarket from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Stowmarket 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:

DistrictMid Suffolk
Postal districtIP14
Post TownStowmarket