Wangford shown within Suffolk
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Wangford with Henham|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||Suffolk Coastal|
Wangford is a village in Suffolk, England, just off the A12 trunk road on the edge of the Henham Park estate just outside Southwold. (NB there are two villages named Wangford in Suffolk: the other is in West Suffolk, in the Lark Valley. This article refers to the eastern village).
Wangford is connected to the rest of Suffolk by two main roads. At one side of the village the road leads straight on to the A12 (dual carriage way), and the other side of the village leads to Reydon, and Southwold (B1126).
At the centre of the village there is a community centre, containing a reasonable sized hall, a bar, a kitchen and a small games room. There is also a shop, post-office, two pubs - the Angel Inn and the Plough, a farm shop, a playing field and allotments, tennis courts and the local vet.
The church of St Peter and St Paul
The Parish church of Wangford cum Henham is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul; situated near the centre of the village. The church here was near derelict by the mid-19th century. It was all that survived of a Cluniac Priory, a cell to the mother Priory at Thetford in Norfolk. Left derelict at the end of the 19th century, it was restored by the local Rous family, the Earls of Stradbroke who set about creating a monument to themselves here because there is no church in the parish of Henham. The architect was A. L. Blackburne. All was demolished except for the nave walls. A grand chancel was then built at the east end, and beside it in the 1870s, an impressive tower. The top of the tower is finished in the 14th century Suffolk manner. It sits at the east end of the north aisle. Inside, the west end of the nave has a huge window, which may possibly be the rebuilding of a previous tower arch. The north porch is the only other medieval survival which seems to have had a side sliced off it by the buttress to the north aisle. As the church is principally 19th century, so is all the stained glass.
Angels look down from the simple but affective the roof. The lectern is made of brass, and the column is surrounded by angels about to take flight. The pulpit is 17th century and was brought here from the chapel at Henham Hall along with the reading desk. The font is 14th century but with a later cover. The walls are covered with memorials to the Rouses. The building is currently suffering from water damage but fundraising is continuing with the aim of reroofing. The Parish of Wangford is part of the Sole Bay Team Ministry (formed in 1999), along with the Parishes of Blythburgh, Reydon, Sotherton, South Cove, Southwold, Uggeshall and Walberswick.
The church bells of St Peter and St Paul
Wangford church has an unringable peal of five bells. Originally the bells were intended for change ringing. The bells hang in a derelict timber frame with dilapidated fittings and have not been rung for many years. The treble (the smallest) is the oldest bell in the tower being cast by William Brend of Norwich in 1624. The following year, in 1625, the tenor (the largest) was cast at the same foundry by William & Alice Brend. The third was cast by John Darbie of Ipswich in 1668 and the fourth dates from 1721 and is by John Stephens of Norwich. The newest bell in the tower is the second which was cast by John Warner & Sons of London in 1863. This bell was recast from the metal of an earlier bell also cast by John Stephens. The precise weight of the bells is not known but the tenor is estimated to weigh between 8 and 9 hundredweight.
Famous people and connections
Reputedly, Wangford provided the inspiration for the stage name of Sam Hutt, a well-known London gynaecologist, who specialises in spoof Country and Western music. The chosen name being 'Hank Wangford'. Fred Copeman OBE, who served in the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War and organised London's air raid defences during the Second World War, was born in Wangford Union Workhouse in 1907.
The annual Latitude pop and arts festival is held at Henham Hall Park in the parish.
- Taken from ESTIMATES OF TOTAL POPULATION OF AREAS IN SUFFOLK. 2nd August 2009. Page 17.
- Taken from The Sole Bay Team Ministry. 27th January 2009.
- Taken from The Suffolk Churches Site. 27th January 2009.
- Taken from 'A photographic and historical guide to the Parish Churches of East Suffolk' compiled by Adrian S. Pye. 27th January 2009. Page 272
- Taken from Doves Guide. 27th January 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wangford.|
- Wangford Web
- Wangford with Henham Parish Council
- The Sole Bay Team Ministry
- Wangford St Peter St Paul