The heart of Hadleigh and surrounding villages
The ancient market town of Hadleigh offers a timeless charm at the heart of rural Suffolk
Full of character and history, Hadleigh is perhaps most unique for its mix of architecture, which includes everything from the ruins of a 13th century castle to the pink-painted, timbered houses of the 15th century. It is even home to the oldest, vehicle-carrying bridge in the county – the Grade II Listed Toppesfield Bridge, which was built over the River Brett in the 14th Century.
Despite being somewhat frozen in time aesthetically, the town has maintained a popular reputation as a home for both families and couples, young and old alike.
Fenn Wright Partner at our Sudbury branch, Graham Buxton, tells us what he believes gives this pretty town such appeal: “Although it’s surrounded by beautiful countryside, Hadleigh is also within comfortable driving distance of Ipswich, Sudbury and Colchester, making it a good choice for those looking to achieve a better work/life balance. The weekly Friday market and interesting mix of houses the town has to offer, from character period homes to recently constructed properties, also attracts a variety of residents including first time buyers and those downsizing who relish a more relaxed lifestyle.”
“For families, the town offers good schools, including Hadleigh Primary School, Hadleigh High School and the Westwood Academy, as well as a range of social clubs. So, whether you enjoy music, sport or simply getting outdoors, Hadleigh is likely to have something for you. In particular, the town has its own pool and leisure centre, as well as Hadleigh Park, which hosts a wide range of activities throughout the year, including kayaking, archery, orienteering and sailing.”
Historically, the town derives much of its prosperity from wool and cloth industries and, with a total of 246 listed buildings, it has managed to withstand much of the subsequent construction, including a 15th-century timber-framed Guildhall. The town’s ability to maintain its historical appearance is reflected on its High Street, which has a mix of boutique shops, restaurants and cafes. Further afield, the town is also home to the Hadleigh Maid chocolate company and the Hellhound microbrewery.
Graham says: “As well as attractive architecture, there is beautiful countryside around the town that inspired the 18th Century painters, Constable and Gainsborough. Nearby villages also include Long Melford, Kersey, Lavenham, Clare and Dedham.”
The rural side of Hadleigh is well celebrated with the annual Hadleigh Show which was first held in 1840 and is also known as ‘the May Show’. It is one of the oldest one-day agricultural shows in East Anglia and is organised by the Hadleigh Farmers’ Agricultural Association. For those who prefer art, Hadleigh also hosts an Annual Art Exhibition in its beautiful medieval St Mary’s church – a work of art in itself.
Graham concludes: “If you love period homes and are looking for a quieter pace of life, Hadleigh is a great option. For those who prefer a newer property, then the good news is that property developers are working in the area to give additional new houses to this popular town.”
Here is a selection of the best homes currently available in and around Hadleigh:
The Bramble, by Landex, is a recently constructed contemporary 4 bedroom family home offering superb living accommodation, and has been finished to an exceptionally high standard with particular attention to detail. Much thought has gone into the design of the house and the layout of the accommodation, with particular attention given to the detailed brickwork in Flemish bond, the finials on the roof and generous overhang.
The Coppice is a substantial 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom family home with double cartlodge and store by award-winning developer Landex. As with the Bramble, this house has been constructed to a very high specification with significant attention to detail in the design and layout and also benefits from an NHBC certificate.
Ruggs Hall is a stunning 16th century Grade II Listed thatched cottage within grounds of approximately half an acre. With a wealth of original character and features, including exposed beams, attractive fireplaces and a hand-crafted kitchen with a two-oven Aga.
A modern and well positioned four bedroom detached home benefiting from double glazed windows, gas fired central heating, solar panels, garage and off road parking. Find out more here.