Haverhill, Suffolk

Haverhill, Suffolk

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Haverhill
latitude= 52.08
longitude= 0.44
population = 22,010 (2001 Census)
shire_district= St Edmundsbury
region= East of England
shire_county = Suffolk
constituency_westminster= West Suffolk
post_town= HAVERHILL
postcode_area= CB
postcode_district= CB9
dial_code= 01440
os_grid_reference= TL671456

Haverhill is an industrial market town in the county of Suffolk, England, next to the borders of Essex and Cambridgeshire. It lies approximately fourteen miles southeast of Cambridge and sixty miles north of London. Haverhill is the second town of the borough of St Edmundsbury, and has a population of around 22,000. The name of the town is pronounced 'Hay-ver-hill'.


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, 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 June 14 1667, it does however retain one notable Tudor house (reportedly given to Anne of Cleves as part of her divorce from Henry VIII, and thus titled "Anne of Cleves House") and many interesting Victorian buildings.

Following a planning review in 1956, Haverhill was targeted for expansion. 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. [ [http://www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk/sebc/visit/hh-20th-century.cfm The History of Haverhill in the 20th Century ] ] This influx of people changed many aspects of life in Haverhill. One noticeable change is the that the local Suffolk accent (still spoken by the towns older residents) has largely been replaced by a London/South-east England accent that is characterised as Estuary English.fact|date=November 2007

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.fact|date=November 2007


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, Winmau Dartboards, and Grampian Foods (in Little Wratting near Haverhill). Other companies deal in chemicals (e.g. International Flavours & Fragrances), waste processing, transport and construction. In 1982, the international biotechnology firm Genzyme opened site in Haverhill for manufacturing pharmaceuticals.

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

Leisure activities

There are various sporting activities available in Haverhill, including a leisure centre (with swimming pool) [ [http://www.acleisure.com/havlc.asp Abbeycroft Leisure - Haverhill Leisure Centre ] ] , an eighteen-hole golf course [ [http://www.club-noticeboard.co.uk/haverhill/ Haverhill Golf Club ] ] , a dancing school specialising in Ballet, Modern, Tap and Acro/Gymnastics [ [http://www.lisamason.co.uk/ Lisa Mason School of Dance, Haverhill, Suffolk - Ballet, Tap, Modern and Acro/Gymnastics ] ] , a ten-pin bowling alley, and a snooker club. Aside from sport, the Haverhill Arts Centre [ [http://www.haverhillartscentre.co.uk/ Welcome to Haverhill Arts Centre, Haverhill, Suffolk ] ] 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 new 5-screen multiplex cinema complex has been approved and is currently being constructed in the centre of the town [ [http://www.haverhill-uk.com//cgi-bin/hav/news.pl?mode=1&id=1902 Haverhill-UK - News - Haverhill Multiplex Cinema Wins Backing ] ] . 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. [ [http://www.haverhill-uk.com/news/breaking-news--a-museum-for-haverhill-2018.htm/ Haverhill-UK - News - A Museum for Haverhill] ]

Transport links

The busy A1307 road connects Haverhill to Cambridge and this route is heavy with commuter traffic most mornings and evenings.fact|date=November 2007 Local bus services on this route run approximately every 30 minutes during the day, and hourly in evenings and Sundays. [ [http://www.stagecoachbus.com/cambridge/ Cambridge - Home ] ] 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 sometimes said to be the largest town in England without one (though the claim is untrue). [cite web|url=http://www.haverhillecho.co.uk/news/Myth-surrounding-Haverhill39s-lack-of.3965139.jp|title=Myth surrounding Haverhill's lack of train station debunked|publisher="Haverhill Echo"|date=10 April 2008] 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. [ [http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/stations/s/sudbury/index.shtml Station Name: Sudbury] Disused Stations]

For national and international flights, Haverhill is situated close to London Stansted Airport which lies approximately convert|30|mi|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. [ [http://www.haverhill2000.com haverhill2000 ] ]

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. [ [http://www.haverhill-uk.com/pages/roundabout-project---the-spirit-of-enterprise---november-2004-760.htm Haverhill-UK - Roundabout Project - The Spirit of Enterprise - November 2004 ] ] The convert|11|m|ft|sing=on high steel sculpture, called the Spirit of Enterprise, is situated on the main gateway roundabout on the west side of town, and was mostly funded by local businesses. [ [http://www.haverhillenterprise.co.uk/roundabout.html Haverhill Roundabout Sculpture Project ] ]

Notable residents

Nathaniel Ward, the author of the first constitution in North America, was born in Haverhill in 1578. 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, just outside Haverhill. [imdb name|0001648|Charlotte Rampling]

International relations

Haverhill is twinned with Pont St. Esprit in France and Ehringshausen in Germany. The town of Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA is named after Haverhill.


External links

* [http://www.haverhill-uk.com The Official Town Website - includes history and photographs]
* [http://www.haverhill-news.com Haverhill Online News]
* [http://www.haverhillcricketclub.co.uk Haverhill Cricket Club]
* [http://www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk/sebc/visit/hh-20th-century.cfm The History of Haverhill in the 20th century]
* [http://www.haverhillecho.com Haverhill Echo]
* [http://www.haverhill2000.com Haverhill 2000 photographic project]

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