Woodbridge, Suffolk

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 52.0935
longitude= 1.3179
official_name= Woodbridge
population = 10,956 (2001 Census)
shire_district= Suffolk Coastal
region= East of England
shire_county = Suffolk
constituency_westminster= Suffolk Coastal
post_town= WOODBRIDGE
postcode_district = IP12
postcode_area= IP
dial_code= 01394
os_grid_reference= TM272491
static_

static_image_caption=Woodbridge, with Woodbridge Tide Mill in the background

Woodbridge is a town in Suffolk, East Anglia, England. It is in the south east of England, not far from the coast. It lies along the River Deben, with a population of about 7,480 although this seems larger due to the number of surrounding villages. The town is served by Woodbridge railway station on the Ipswich-Lowestoft East Suffolk Line. Woodbridge is twinned with Mussidan in France.

History

The earliest record of Woodbridge is in the mid 10th century, when it was acquired by St. Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, who made it a part of the endowment of the monastery he helped to refound at Ely, Cambridgeshire in AD 970. Woodbridge did not acquire its own monastery until about 1193, when a small priory of Austin Canons was founded by Ernald Rufus.

It was a centre for boat-building, rope-making and sail-making since the Middle Ages.
Edward III and Sir Francis Drake had Elizabethan era fighting ships built in Woodbridge.

Around the town there are various buildings from the Tudor, Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras. The town has a restored tide mill, one of only 4 in the UK, and one of the earliest — a mill was first recorded on this site in 1170, operated by the Augustinian Canons. In 1536, it passed to King Henry VIII. In 1564, Queen Elizabeth I granted the mill to Thomas Seckford. In 1577 he founded Woodbridge School and the Seckford Almshouses, for the poor of Woodbridge.

Sutton Hoo, a group of low grassy mounds famous for turning up Anglo-Saxon treasure of one of the earliest English kings, Rædwald, overlooks Woodbridge from the Eastern Bank of the Deben.

The so-called Rendlesham Forest Incident took place in nearby Rendlesham Forest in 1980. Unexplained lights were seen in the sky close to RAF Woodbridge, a United States Airforce base, and there were claims that a UFO had landed in the forest. The incident continues to interest ufologists and vigorous debates take place between those who believe that an alien spacecraft landed there and the sceptics who offer alternative explanations.

Woodbridge has its own Brass Band, the [http://www.woodbridgeexcelsiorband.org Woodbridge Excelsior Band] , who were formed in 1846 and are the oldest community brass band in East Anglia.

In addition, local folklore has it that the route from the river to the top of Drybridge Hill (via Church Street, the Market Hill and Seckford Street) is the hill which was marched up by the Grand Old Duke of York in the popular Nursery Rhyme.

Famous residents

* Thomas Clarkson, campaigner for the abolition of the Slave Trade lived in Playford, near Woodbridge
* Edward FitzGerald, translator of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
* Bernard Barton, Quaker poet
* Brian Eno from Roxy Music
* Charlie Simpson from Busted and Fightstar

* Sir Ian Jacob, Director-General of the BBC
* Brian Capron who portrayed Richard Hillman in Coronation Street from 2001-2003
* Nate James, singer/songwriter
* Thomas Seckford, official at the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England.

External links

* [http://woodbridgesuffolk.info/WB-Attractions/ Attractions in and around Woodbridge ]
* [http://www.alderton.ukfossils.co.uk/ Fossil Collecting at Alderton near Woodbridge]
* [http://www.visit-woodbridge.co.uk/ Visit Woodbridge]
* [http://VisitWoodbridge.co.uk/ Another Visit Woodbridge site]
* [http://woodbridgesuffolk.info/WTG/index.html Woodbridge Town Guide - shops, businesses, maps]
* [http://woodbridgesuffolk.info/Woodbridge/history.htm History of Woodbridge ]
* [http://woodbridgesuffolk.info/WB-Attractions/TideMill/index.html Tide Mill]
* [http://www.woodbridge.suffolk.sch.uk/woodbridge_school.html Woodbridge School website]
* [http://www.farlingaye.suffolk.sch.uk/ Farlingaye High School's website]
* [http://bentwaters.org/ufo/pressrelease3rdkind.htm The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident]
* [http://www.woodbridgeexcelsiorband.org Woodbridge Excelsior Brass Band]
* [http://www.woodbridgesalvationarmy.org.uk Woodbridge Salvation Army Corps]
* [http://www.woodbridgerugbyclub.co.uk Woodbridge Rugby Club]
* [http://www.radiowoodbridge.com Woodbridge community radio]
* [http://www.st-maryscofe.suffolk.sch.uk St Mary's Church of England Primary School]


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