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Image of the church of St Mary in the centre of Ixworth, Suffolk
Church of St Mary, Ixworth
Ixworth is located in Suffolk
Ixworth shown within Suffolk
Population2,365 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceTL934704
Civil parish
  • Ixworth
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBury Saint Edmunds
Postcode districtIP31
AmbulanceEast of England
EU ParliamentEast of England
List of places
52°18′00″N 0°49′59″E / 52.300°N 0.833°E / 52.300; 0.833Coordinates: 52°18′00″N 0°49′59″E / 52.300°N 0.833°E / 52.300; 0.833

Ixworth is a village and civil parish in the Borough of St Edmundsbury in the English county of Suffolk. It is 6 miles (9.7 km) north-east of Bury St Edmunds on the A143 road to Diss and 9 miles (14 km) south-east of Thetford. The parish has a population of 2,177,[2] increasing to 2,365 at the 2011 Census. The south end of High Street and town may also be historically listed as Ixworth St Mary.


Ixworth was settled in Roman times and was the site of a 1st-century AD Roman fort.[3][4] The fort is believed to have been built as a response to Boudicca's revolt and appears to have been in use only until the end of the 1st century.[4] The site measures 193 metres (633 ft) by 205 metres (673 ft) and was surrounded by three ditches.[4]

After the fort went out of use a civilian settlement was established at the site, possibly with a pottery industry.[4] Ixworth became an important junction in the Roman road system of East Anglia[5][6] and the Peddars Way ran 48 miles (77 km) from Ixworth to Holme next the Sea on the north coast of Norfolk.[7] The foundations of a Roman building with hypocaust were discovered in 1834 and are believed to be a villa and bath house complex.[8]

An early pagan cemetery with Anglo-Saxon burial urns was discovered south-west of the church some time before 1849[3][9] and a number of other post-Roman archaeological finds have been discovered in the area. In 1856 the Ixworth Cross, a gold pectoral cross covered in garnets dating from the 7th century, was discovered in what is believed to be another Anglo-Saxon cemetery.[3][10][11][12] The cross is decorated using cloisonné work and was donated to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in 1909.[11] It was discovered in a rare bed burial.[13]

The first recorded name for Ixworth is from 1025 as Gyxeweorde meaning "Enclosure of a man called Gisca".[3] The settlement was recorded in the Domesday Book as "Icsewrda" or "Giswortha".[14] The village, which was in the Hundred of Blackbourn, was relatively very large at this time with 51 households.[15] It was held by Robert Blunt or Blount in 1086, having formed part of the lands controlled by the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds in 1066.[5][15]

Ixworth Priory was founded as an Augustinian priory in about 1170 and dissolved in 1537.[3][5][16] Remains of the priory include the almost complete east range whilst some of the west range can be found incorporated into a house, known as Ixworth Abbey.[16][17] These remains are a Grade I listed building and include elements from the early 13th century.[17]

Ixworth is the site the earliest rural council housing built in England.[5][18] Four pairs of houses were built in 1893–94 for Thingoe Rural District Council, encouraged by the Ixworth Labourer's Association.[5] These were built under the Housing of the Working Classes Act 1890, the first to allow rural councils to build their own housing. The act was only adopted by eight councils.[18] The houses exist today in a largely unaltered condition. Two of them, on Stow Road, are Grade II listed buildings.[18]

A Q Type bombing decoy was operated in the north-east of the parish to deflect enemy bombing from RAF Honington.[19]

A former pumping station at Bailypool Lane off Stow Lane has been given planning permission as of 2012 for conversion to a residential dwelling.[20]

Modern Ixworth[edit]

Ixworth High Street from the south

St Mary's Church lies just west of High Street.[6] The church dates from the late 14th century with a late 15th-century tower.[21] It contains memorials to Richard Coddington, who was granted the land owned by the priory following the dissolution.[5] The church is a Grade I Listed Building.[21]

The village contains a number of other listed buildings, many on the High Street, some of which have medieval elements.[22] A variety of local services remain in the village, including shops, a post office and public houses as well as a village hall, doctor's surgery, a retained fire station and police station sharing the same building.[23][24]

Ixworth is served by rural bus routes[25] and is on the National Express London to Great Yarmouth coach route. The village was bypassed in 1986 when the A143 was diverted to run to the south-east of the village.[5]


Ixworth is in the Borough of St Edmundsbury and elects one borough councillor.[26] It lies in the Blackbourn division of Suffolk County Council[27] and the West Suffolk parliamentary constituency. The parish council jointly administers Ixworth and Ixworth Thorpe.[28]


Ixworth Primary School educates children from age 4 to 9, although this will extend to age 11 by 2014 as Suffolk County Council reorganises schools in the county.[29] In place of the closed middle school (closed end of the 2014 academic year), Ixworth Free School has now been founded, educating from years 7 to 11.[29] At the end of year 6 children transfer from the primary school to either Ixworth Free School or Thurston Community College for secondary stage education.[29]

Bangrove Wood SSSI[edit]

Bangrove Wood, around 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the village, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This is an area of ancient woodland of 18.2 hectares (45 acres).[30] The wood contains species such as ash, field maple, oak and hazel as well as wild cherry and a range of ground vegetation species.[30]


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  2. ^ Office for National Statistics: Parish Headcounts : St Edmundsbury Retrieved 28 September 2009
  3. ^ a b c d e The Willows, Stow Road, Ixworth, Suffolk – Archaeological monitoring and recording, Archaeological Solutions Ltd. June 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d Ixworth Roman Fort, English Heritage. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g History[permanent dead link]. Ixworth and Ixworth Thorpe parish council. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b St Mary, Ixworth, The Suffolk Churches Site.
  7. ^ Peddars Way, English Heritage. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  8. ^ Ixowth Roman villa, English Heritage. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  9. ^ Monument No. 385465, English Heritage. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  10. ^ Monument No. 385467, English Heritage. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  11. ^ a b Anglo-Saxon Ixworth Cross, Sir John Evans's collections of artefacts – British, Ashmolean Museum. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  12. ^ Ixworth Cross, Anglo-Saxon Discovery, Ashmolean Museum. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  13. ^ Anglo-Saxon Christian grave find near Cambridge 'extremely rare', BBC Cambridgeshire news website, 12 March 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
  14. ^ Ixworth, Domesday Book online. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  15. ^ a b Ixworth, Open Domesday. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  16. ^ a b Ixworth Priory, English Heritage. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  17. ^ a b Ixworth Abbey, Ixworth, British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  18. ^ a b c 1–2, Stow Road, Ixworth, British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  19. ^ Airfield bombing decoy Q28B, English Heritage. Retrieved 22 January 2013
  20. ^ "Properties that would be perfect renovation projects". Daily Telegraph.
  21. ^ a b Church of St Mary, Ixworth, British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  22. ^ Listed Buildings in Ixworth, Suffolk, England, British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  23. ^ About us[permanent dead link], Ixworth and Ixworth Thorpe parish council. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  24. ^ Emergency services join force in Ixworth Archived 23 April 2013 at Archive.is, Suffolk County Council, 9 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
  25. ^ Bury St Edmunds East Archived 18 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  26. ^ Election results 2011, St Edmundsbury Borough Council. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  27. ^ Joanna Spicer Archived 23 April 2013 at Archive.is, Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  28. ^ Parish Council, Ixworth and Ixworth Thorpe. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  29. ^ a b c Thurston Archived 4 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine., Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  30. ^ a b Bangrove Wood, SSSI citation, Natural England. Retrieved 22 January 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ixworth at Wikimedia Commons