Brandon, Suffolk

Brandon is a small town and civil parish in the English county of Suffolk.Brandon is located in the Breckland area on the border of Suffolk with the adjoining county of Norfolk. Surrounded by agriculture and Forestry Commission land it is still considered a rural town, although there is an RAF air base on lease to USAF, Lakenheath, just a mile or so away.

History

According to Eilert Ekwall the meaning of the village name is Broom hill.

The Domesday Book records the population of Brandon in 1086 to be 25.

From prehistoric times the area was mined for flint as can be seen at Grimes Graves, a popular Brandon tourist destination. Much more recently, the town was a major centre for the production of gunflints. [Clarke, R (1935), The Flint-knapping Industry at Brandon, "Antiquity", vol. IX]

In mediaeval times and beyond Brandon was also renowned for its rabbit fur.

On 14th May, 1789, the town suffered a 'Great Fire', a report of which can be found in the towns heritage centre. While all the young men were away at a fair day in nearby Thetford A fire caused by a lightning strike set fire to the surgeon's house which quickly spread to the surrounding properties. 11 houses were damaged, with 8 of them being completely destroyed. The hardest hit was Francis Diggon, the Saddler, who lost all of his property and possessions, costing a total of 381 pounds, 2 shillings

Present Day

The town's current population is estimated to be just over 8,249 people by the United Kingdom Census 2001 and boasts three schools, two primary - Forest County Primary and Glade Primary; and one middle school - Breckland.

On the town's doorstep is the hugely popular High Lodge tourist attraction, that draws in many cyclists and day trip families.

Brandon has a small market every Thursday & Saturday. There are many little shops and cafes in the town.

Brandon's population has steadily increased since the Second World War due to migration. After the war there was an influx of serviceman from Poland who settled in the town and also in nearby Weeting, Norfolk. The Cold War saw many American servicemen, women and their families billeted in and around the town. The Greater London Council oversaw the building of a large Council estate off Thetford Road and Bury Road in the seventies and many London families were relocated to Brandon during that time. Following the relaxation of national borders within the European Community there has been an influx of migrant workers from countries such as Portugal, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

A new three-story Health Centre, at a cost of £6.5m is planned just off Bury Road which will house both GP surgeries, library, café, toilets, pharmacy, hall, meeting rooms, midwives, nurses, health visitors and alternative therapists.

Sport

Brandon has a thriving football junior club for ages 5 years up to under 16. The Brandon Lads and Lasses A.F.C has squads of boys and girls competing in the Ipswich & Suffolk Youth League, South Norfolk Youth League, Mid Norfolk Youth League.

Brandon also has a lawn bowls club, which plays outdoors in the summer, and indoors in the winter. They are based at the Brandon Leisure Centre. The leisure centre, run by Forest Heath, also offers Badminton, squash and 5 - a - side football

Other

Its telephone dial code is 01842 and postcode IP27 0**.

The town also has Tesco and Aldi Supermarkets.

The town has an 8 lane bowling alley, which includes a 200 seater restaurant

Brandon also features a monument to the 7th Armoured Division

The town also is known for having many take-aways for fast food such as

- Fish & Chip Shops- Indian - Chinese- Golden Fried Chicken- Mr G's Pizza - Chick King- Midnight Cowboy

There are many places to drink in Brandon, Pubs; The Duke of Wellington [http://www.thedukebrandon.co.uk] , Five Bells, The Flintknappers, The One Bell, The White Horse & The Crown. Clubs; British Legion, Sports & social club, Brandon Leisure Center. Hotels; The Great Eastern, Brandon House & The Ram.

References

External links

* [http://www.brandonsuffolk.com] - Brandon's Newest Website
* [http://www.brandon-heritage.co.uk] - Brandon Heritage Site
* [http://www.brandonatwar.co.uk] - Brandon during the Second World War
* [http://www.brandonladsandlasses.co.uk] - Brandon Lads and Lasses soccer club


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