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St.John the Baptist Church, Saxmundham - - 1193447.jpg
St.John the Baptist Church, Saxmundham
Saxmundham is located in Suffolk
Location within Suffolk
Population3,644 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTM381632
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtIP17
Dialling code01728
AmbulanceEast of England
EU ParliamentEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°12′54″N 1°29′13″E / 52.215°N 1.487°E / 52.215; 1.487Coordinates: 52°12′54″N 1°29′13″E / 52.215°N 1.487°E / 52.215; 1.487

Saxmundham (/ˈsæksməndəm/ SAKS-mən-dəm) is a small market town in Suffolk, England. It is set in the valley of the River Fromus, a tributary of the River Alde, approximately 18 miles (29 km) northeast of Ipswich and 5 miles (8.0 km) west of the coast at Sizewell. The town is bypassed by the A12 and is served by Saxmundham railway station on the East Suffolk Line.


Saxmundham Town Council comes under the new East Suffolk District. It was previously in Suffolk Coastal District.[2] The district electoral ward also has the name Saxmundham. Its population at the 2011 census was 4,913.[3]


The town's name allegedly derives from the Old English "Seizmond's Home".[4] The earliest recorded mention of Saxmundham is in the Domesday Book of 1086 which mentions three churches. It has had a market charter since at least 1272[citation needed] and carries on the tradition to this day.

Notable residents[edit]

In fiction[edit]

Carving of an angel holding a Three Crowns emblem on the baptismal font (c.1400) in the parish church of St John the Baptist; the crowns are a symbol of East Anglia.

Brother Eadulf has become Saxmundham's most famous international fictional character. He appears in the best-selling Sister Fidelma mysteries written by Peter Tremayne (nom de plume of the Celtic scholar and author Peter Beresford Ellis). Brother Eadulf is companion and assistant to Sister Fidelma and often plays a crucial part in resolving the mystery. He is introduced as originally the hereditary gerefa (magistrate) of "Seaxmund's Ham in the land of the South Folk." He attends the famous Synod of Whitby in 664 AD and joins Sister Fidelma in solving a murder of one of the delegates (Absolution by Murder, 1994). He has since appeared in most of the novels and some of the short stories although the Saxmundham area has been used as a setting in only one of the novels; The Haunted Abbot (2002). Tremayne chose Saxmundham as Eadulf's place of origin because of local connections, the nearness of the town to an ancient royal burial site of the East Angles as well as the East Anglian historic connections with Irish Christian missionaries. He has appeared in all but two of the Sister Fidelma series of mystery novels, set in 7th century Ireland.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  2. ^ [saxmundham. org Town Council site. Retrieved 14 August 2019.]
  3. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  4. ^ "The Sister Fidelma Mysteries: Essays on the Historical Novels of Peter Tremayne". Google books.
  5. ^ "JockBio: Ray Allen Biography". Retrieved 11 April 2019.

External links[edit]