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Entering Rendham on B1119 - - 1404900.jpg
Entering Rendham from the south on the B1119
Rendham is located in Suffolk
 Rendham shown within Suffolk
Population 216 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference TM350645
Civil parish Rendham
Shire county Suffolk
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Saxmundham
Dialling code 01728
Police Suffolk
Fire Suffolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
List of places

Coordinates: 52°13′44″N 1°26′13″E / 52.229°N 1.437°E / 52.229; 1.437

Rendham is a village and a civil parish on the B1119 road, in the Suffolk Coastal District, in the English county of Suffolk.[1] It is near the small town of Saxmundham and the village of Sweffling. Rendham is north of nearby village of Sweffling. The mediaeval church of St Michael was restored in 1852 and is a grade II* listed building.[2][3]


Rendham comes from Old English and Saxon. Rend comes from the Old English "rymed" meaning cleared. "Ham" comes from the Saxon word for village. Rendham therefore means cleared village, taken from the fact the village is placed in a clearing by the River Alde, surrounded by woodland.[4]


Rendham lies on the River Alde, near its confluence with The Gull which diverts to Sweffling downstream from Rendham. The surrounding area is rural, mainly farmland dotted with small areas of woodland. Rendham has two village greens called Rendham Green and The Knoll which are owned by the local Parish.[5] The village is located between the towns of Framlingham and Saxmundham with its main transport link being the road that joins the two, the B1119 road.

Between 1870 and 1872, Rendham's location was described thus in John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales:

The village stands on an affluent of the river Alde, 3 miles N W by W of Saxmundham r.station; and has a post-office under Saxmundham.[6]

General Demographics[edit]

Rendham has a healthy populous, with the majority of the population (175 people) in 2011 having either very good health or good health. Only 41 people had fair, bad or very bad health.[7] Most people in Rendham also have at least one qualification with only 32 people in 2011 not having one and 77 people having a level four qualification or above.[8] Most of Rendham in 2001 was aged between 30 and 59 (116 people) with only a small proportion of younger people (only 60 people aged between zero and 19 compared to 20 year olds and over making 202 of the population with 116 of those people as stated before being between 30 and 59.[9] 61% of the population in 2011 was Christian (132 people), most of which would attend the village church St. Michaels.[10]

Health status of the residents of Rendham in 2011. Retrieved from Neighborhood Statistics.


Rendham has traditionally been a farming village with the majority of males in the past being employed in agriculture. In the 18th century, nearly all villagers were involved in agriculture in some way as farm workers, farmers or horticulturalists.[11] By 1881, 46 males were involved in agriculture, more than all the other occupational orders combined at the time. Agriculture was key in the village due to its relative isolation from market towns such as Saxmundham meaning independent sources of food would have been needed. With regard to females in 1881, its mostly unknown what occupational order they were part of, however 19 were in domestic service or offices.[12]

Most people in Rendham were employed in professional occupations in 2011 (24). Associate Professional and Technical Occupations employed the next largest number of Rendham residents at 20. Managers, directors and senior officials also make up 17 of Rendhams population.[13] This is a change from the 1881 data were the majority of residents were employed under agriculture to support the food production of the village (46 males of the villages 367 population). This change could be down to two things. The first being the population decline from 1881 (367 people) to 2011 (216 people) meaning not as many crops were needed and so males moved from agriculture to other areas of employment. The second is more likely and is due to the changing economy from 1881 to 2011. Between the years, the United Kingdom has gone from a primary industry based economy where industry revolves around farming and fishing, into a tertiary based industry based on services. People moved away from primary agriculture occupations which were the largest employer in 1881 into tertiary based jobs which were the largest employer in 2011. The three occupations which currently employ the most people in Rendham are tertiary occupations based on a service economy (professionals, associate professionals and managers, directors and senior officials).


Nearly all of the housing in Rendham at the time of the 2011 census (par one terraced dwelling) was detached (76 houses) or semi detached (24 houses). The amount of detached houses which usually have more value than other houses shows the village is affluent and as shown under Population Demographics is comprised mainly of people with professional occupations with high income.[14] This affluence is shown further by the fact in 2011 most houses had three bedrooms or more (89 houses) with most having three bedrooms (51 houses) and only 12 houses having one or two bedrooms.[15] Rendham therefore on average has mainly detached or semi detached housing that has three or more bedrooms. 130 people or 69.9% of the population of Rendham in 2011 were living in the houses as a couple (married or civil partnership) showing the spare rooms were probably used for visitors and not children as the amount of children in Rendham is low (60 people 19 or below).[16]


The majority of Rendham is healthy and aged between 30 and 59. The population is mainly employed in the professional tertiary sector (despite a history of primary agriculture employment), and most of the population holds a qualification which is probably level four or above. The housing stock is mainly detached or semi detached with three bedrooms or more, and the people living in them are on average living together and married or in a civil partnership. The lack of young children and teenagers means these bedrooms are probably used for spare rooms for visitors as opposed for children's bedrooms as most of the population is married or in a civil partnership indicating there would be an average of two bedrooms free in the house (based off one room being used for the couple leaving two). Rendham as seen by this summary is probably an affluent village for professional people in relationships between the ages of 30 and 59 who are Christian in faith.


Early Settlers[edit]

The first inhabitants of Rendham were believed to have settled in the 1st century, due to the river providing food (fish and river birds), fertile soils from flooding and transport by boat. Up the valley slopes away from the river there was heavy clay which was used to build houses.

Roman Invasion of Britain[edit]

In AD60 Queen Boudicca ruled the area of Suffolk as leader of the Iceni, around 20 years into the Roman invasion of Britain. There is evidence that residents of Rendham joined her army (which was defeated in AD61) and were present at the storming of the Temple of Claudius in Colchester. In 1907 two Rendham schoolboys (Arthur Baxter and Arthur Godbold)found a round object in the River Alde at Rendham. After a few years a schoolmaster from Benhall saw it and purchased the round sculpture for five shillings. It was the stolen Head of the Emperor Claudius from a bronze statue in Colchester plundered by the Iceni. It later sold for £15,500 in Sotheby's to the British Museum (where it is on display currently), annoying residents of Rendham as they were not mentioned. A replica of the head is in St. Michaels history corner (St. Michaels church).[17]

Picture of the Claudius Head taken from the bronze statue in Colchester by the Iceni, later found in the River Alde at Rendham

Norman Invasion and Domesday Book[edit]

Rendham is mentioned in the Domesday Book as follows:

"Rimdham / Rindram / -d(e)ham / -ham: Count Alan; Robert from Robert Malet; Roger Bigot and Norman and Ralph from him."[18]

It is also described as a "straggling; manor farm", otherwise stating Norman era Rendham was a slow paced farm. The name Rendham itself comes from the Saxon word for village.[19]

Restoration of the Monarchy 1660 and Rendham Chapel[edit]

Following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Rendham and Sweffling became popular amongst non conformists. A congregation chapel was formed in 1680 and by 1740 its popularity meant people attended from as far out as Debenham and so a new chapel was built. This was finished in 1750 and had a donation from famous hymn writer Dr. Isaac Watts. Rendham Chapel was later attended by painter Henry Bright who travelled there from Saxmudham. Rendham Chapel later became the United Reform Church and was closed in 1977.[20]

1800- Present[edit]

Poet George Crabbe lived in Rendham for a period and his notes and observations contributed to his 1810 book The Borough.[21]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Name: CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL List entry Number: 1199503". English Heritage. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Twinch, Carol. "History of Rendham". onesuffolk. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "History of Rendham". onesuffolk. Feb 11, 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Wilson, John Marius (1870–1872). Gazetteer of England and Wales. Edinburgh: A. Fullerton & Co. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "General Health, 2011". Neighborhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Highest Level of Qualification, 2011". Neighborhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Age Structure, 2001". Neighborhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Religion, 2011". Neighborhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Twinch, Carol. "History of Rendham". onesuffolk. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Rendham CP/AP through time". Retrieved 16 March 2015.  Text " Industry Statistics " ignored (help); Text " Occupation data classified into the 24 1881 'Orders', plus sex, A Vision of Britain through Time." ignored (help)
  13. ^ "Lead View Table, Rendham, Occupation 2011". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Accomodation Type- Households 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Number of Bedrooms, 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "Living Arrangements, 2011". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  17. ^ Twinch, Carol. "History of Rendham". onesuffolk. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "The Domesday Book Online". Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "Origins of Place Names". The Domesday Book Online. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Twinch, Carol. "History of Rendham". onesuffolk. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  21. ^ Twinch, Carol. "History of Renham". onesuffolk. Retrieved 17 March 2015.