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MARKET TOWNS OF SUFFOLK (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Mildenhall in 1836

Mildenhall is in the hundred of Lackford, 12 or 13 miles north-west of Bury. The parish is extensive, comprehending a considerable district of fenland, and including, beside the town, several detached hamlets, locally termed ‘rows’, as Holywell Row, north of the town; Beck Row, north-west; and West Row, west-north-west. The area of the parish is 13,710 acres. The population in 1831 was 3,267, about half agricultural.

The town stands just on the border of the fen country, which stretches northward into Norfolk, and westward into Cambridgeshire, and is a little to the left of the road from London to Norwich by Newmarket, Barton-Mills, and Thetford. It is irregularly laid out, and the streets are neither paved nor lighted, but the houses are for the most part well-built.

The church is large and handsome, with a tower 120 feet high. It has a handsomely carved wooden roof and several monuments. There are meeting-houses for Baptists and for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists.

The market, which is on Friday, is well supplied with provisions, especially fish and wild-fowl; and there is a considerable yearly fair. The river Larke, which passes close to the south side of the town, is navigable, and facilitates the export of corn and agricultural produce, in which considerable business is done.

The living is a vicarage in the rural deanery of Fordham, in the archdeaconry of Sudbury, in the diocese of Ely, of the clear yearly value of £369.

There were in the parish, in 1833, fifteen day-schools, with 330 children, namely, 159 boys and 171 girls; and four Sunday-schools, with 395 children, namely, 196 boys and 199 girls. One of the day-schools was a national school, with 60 girls, and was partly supported by endowment. The handsome seat of Sir H. E. Bunbury is in the town.