The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Visits to Debenham

Visits to Debenham & Crowfield in Suffolk


We have made a number of enjoyable visits to the delightful Suffolk village of Debenham on the River Deben where many of my wife Chris descendants came from (Hunt, Marjoram and Ransome).

At the time, some of the lanes/roads appeared to us to have rather grandiose names like Gracechurch Street (similar name to the famous road in the City of London) and Chancery Lane (similar name to the famous road near Holborn in London).

On our first vist to Debenham in 1982, it was on a Sunday morning and we saw a (probably informal) arrangement/event taking place where a number of horses and carriages were being driven to the village pub for a Sunday drink or lunch. Wonderful.

A number of christenings and marriages took place at the church of St Mary Magdalene and also Debenham's Independent Church.

On our first visit to Debenham, we went into St Mary's Church and found that the Parish Records had been summarised onto a card index system. We communicated with the vicar and the lady concerned, who was kind enough to provide me with a list of entries for the Hunt Family in which we were interested. Sadly the lady died but we were able to access the card index on subsequent visits in 1985, 1998 & 2000 and obtain the entries for Marjoram and Ransome. The card index was last held at a firm of chartered architects at , "the Market Cross".

From a book on Debenham, the upper floor of the Market Cross building was at one time a school; at one time the lower floor was quite open and frequently used as a corn market.

Photographs of Debenham

Outside& Inside the Parish Church of St Mary's

On the corner of High Street and Gracechurch Street (to the right)

The Market Cross building where the card index of Parish Records was held on our last visit
Behind this building was Little Back Lane (and behind that was Great Back Lane!) Following Little Back Lane was Chancery Lane.

Walking along the High Street

Visit to Crowfield

On our last visit to Debenham, we went on to the Chapel at nearby Crowfield where William Hunt married Harriet Farrow on 22 January 1851. The Chapel was a fair walk from the village. We were very lucky that this lovely Chapel was open and the ladies preparing the church flowers told us that there were still Farrows living in the area:

The Chapel at Crowfield

Colin Bower
31 October 2010

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