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definition - Haverhill,_Suffolk

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Haverhill, Suffolk


Coordinates: 52°05′N 0°26′E / 52.08°N 0.44°E / 52.08; 0.44

Market Hill and parish church, Haverhill, Suffolk - geograph.org.uk - 63259.jpg
Market Hill and parish church, Haverhill
Haverhill is located in Suffolk

 Haverhill shown within Suffolk
Population 22,010 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference TL671456
District St Edmundsbury
Shire county Suffolk
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CB9
Dialling code 01440
Police Suffolk
Fire Suffolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament West Suffolk
List of places: UK • England • Suffolk

Haverhill (pronounced play /ˈhævrɪl/) is an economically deprived market town and civil parish in the county of Suffolk, England, next to the borders of Essex and Cambridgeshire. It lies 14 miles (23 km) southeast of Cambridge and 45 miles (72 km) north of central London. Haverhill is the second largest town in the Borough of St Edmundsbury and has a population of 22,010, although this has grown considerably since the last census (2001).[1]



The town centre lies at the base of a gentle dip in the chalk hills of the Newmarket Ridge; running through the town is the Stour Brook, which goes on to join the River Stour just outside the town. Rapid expansion of the town over the last two decades means that the western edge of Haverhill now includes the hamlet of Hanchet End. The surrounding countryside largely consists of arable land.


Haverhill dates back to at least Saxon times,[citation needed] and the town's market is recorded in the Domesday book (1086). Whilst most of its historical buildings were lost to the great fire on 14 June 1667,[citation needed] one notable Tudor-era house remains (reportedly given to Anne of Cleves as part of her divorce from Henry VIII and thus titled Anne of Cleves House) as well as many interesting Victorian buildings.

Following a planning review in 1956, Haverhill was targeted for expansion.[2] This was primarily to resettle communities from London which had been devastated during World War II. As part of this plan, new housing settlements and new factories were built. A later review in 1962 planned for a threefold increase in population from the then population of 5,446.[3]

This influx of people changed many aspects of life in Haverhill. One noticeable change is that the local Suffolk accent (still spoken by the town's older residents) has largely been replaced by a London/South-east England accent characterised as Estuary English.[citation needed] The expansion was not without friction. Residents who moved to the newly developed areas complained about the housing density and lack of amenities in a 1968 Man Alive documentary.[4]

Nowadays, Haverhill is predominantly a modern and young town, the relatively small town centre is surrounded by many large housing developments, completed at various periods between the 1950s and the present. Recently, it has seen the growth of small, but noticeable Portuguese and Polish communities[citation needed]


Haverhill's economy is dominated by industry, and a large industrial area on the southern side of the town is home to a large number of manufacturing companies such as Wisdom toothbrushes, Gurteen clothing and VION Foods (in Little Wratting near Haverhill), although, in 2009, Wisdom was in the process of closing down its manufacturing operations at the Haverhill factory and VION was undergoing a restructure that would see the abattoir close and the plant specialising in cooked meats. Other companies deal in chemicals (such as International Flavors and Fragrances), waste processing, transport and construction. In 1982, the international biotechnology firm Genzyme opened a site in Haverhill for manufacturing pharmaceuticals.

In the past couple of years, a new business park has undergone development on the industrial estate, alongside the bypass. This has seen new businesses move into the town such as Percy Dalton's, Stagecoach Group, Day's Inn and Culina Logistics. In the town centre, new developments have seen a Cineworld cinema and food outlets Frankie & Benny's, Prezzo, Subway and KFC all open in the later part of 2008. Tesco also opened a new supermarket on the land of the old railway station, just off the town centre in the Autumn 2009.

A weekly market is held in the town in the High Street each Saturday. This has been a long running tradition throughout Haverhill's history (in common with many other market towns in England). A smaller market is held each Friday in the town's market square.

  Sport and leisure

Haverhill has a Non-League football club Haverhill Rovers F.C. who play at the New Croft ground.

There are various sporting activities available in Havehill, including a leisure centre (with swimming pool and a children's soft play area , Kid City),[5] an 18 hole golf course,[6] a dancing school specialising in ballet, modern and tap dancing as well as acro/gymnastics,[7] a ten-pin bowling alley, a snooker club, And a Skatepark.

The cricket club has recently attracted the well-known Lashings side for an annual fixture and underwent a successful period of growth and expansion. The Haverhill Arts Centre[8] features a cinema and has a varied schedule of music, drama, dance, and comedy. This facility is housed in the town hall, a grade II listed building and opened as an arts centre in 1994.

A 5-screen multiplex cinema complex was opened in October 2008.[9] There is also a thriving angling club, with waters on the River Stour and the Flood Park Lake. Haverhill is also home to The Centre for Computing History, a computer museum established to tell the story of the Information Age.[10]


The busy A1307 road is the only major road that connects Haverhill to Cambridge and the A11 and the M11 motorway. This route suffers congestion with commuter traffic most mornings and evenings.[citation needed] Local bus services on this route are provided by Stagecoach: routes 13, 13A, 13B and X13 run approximately every 30 min during the day, every 60 min evenings and Sundays. The bus station in Haverhill also provides local services to some of the surrounding towns and villages.

The town has no railway station and is one of the largest towns in England without one.[11] It once had two railway stations and two interconnected railways. The Stour Valley Railway ran from Cambridge to Sudbury and beyond via Haverhill North whilst the Colne Valley and Halstead Railway ran from Haverhill South to Marks Tey via Castle Hedingham and Halstead.

For the most part, Haverhill North was used as the passenger train terminus for both the Stour Valley and Colne Valley railways to allow interchange between the two railways. Both stations are now demolished however many bridges, cuttings and embankments are still visible in Haverhill and beyond. In recent years, the Cambridge to Sudbury Rail Renewal Association has been started to try to bring the railway back to the town.[12] For national and international flights, Haverhill is situated close to London Stansted Airport, which lies approximately 21 miles (30 km) to the south. The much smaller Cambridge City Airport also serves some domestic flights.


In 2000-1 two thousand inhabitants of Haverhill were photographed and morphed into a single image by the artist Chris Dorley-Brown. The resulting image was displayed in the National Portrait Gallery (London). This was the biggest photographic morphing project of its kind.[13]

In November 2004, Haverhill made a claim for a world first, becoming the only known town to feature a laser-lit sculpture on a roundabout.[14] The 11-metre (36 ft) high steel sculpture, called the Spirit of Enterprise (or by locals as "The bin", or "The toilet roll"), is situated on the main gateway roundabout on the west side of town, and was mostly funded by local businesses.[15]

  Notable residents

Nathaniel Ward, the author of the first constitution in North America, was born in Haverhill in 1578. Nathaniel's brother Samuel after whom a local school was named. Pop musician Steve Rinaldi of the bands Rinaldi Sings and The Moment, who featured a map of the town on the cover of their first single, "In This Town" (1984), is originally from Haverhill. The actress Charlotte Rampling was born in Sturmer, Essex, just outside Haverhill.[16] Stevo Pearce, a music manager and owner of the Some Bizarre Records label grew up in Haverhill. Racing driver Gary Paffett, a test driver for McLaren F1 and Dutch Touring Car racer, is also a resident of the town.

  International relations

Haverhill is twinned with

FrancePont St. Esprit GermanyEhringshausen


  External links



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