FRESSINGFIELD

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History

Fressingfield covers 4,618 acres. It is one of Suffolk’s largest parishes - only fifteen, out of more than five hundred, being larger. A population peak was reached in 1851 when the census recorded 1,491: five hundred more than at present.

For centuries the prosperity or otherwise of the parish has reflected its dependence upon agricultural policy. This, of course, has been affected by other political pressures such as  wars (particularly the Napoleonic, Crimean and the World Wars) and economic depression such as that in the 1870s and 1930s. Cheap grain from America also had a massive effect well into the 20th century

Agriculture remains dominant - but only as far as land use is concerned. Fressingfield has an impressive number of medieval moats - drainage, a ready supply of water, fish and even the demands of fashion (rather than defence) provide one or more of the reasons. Whittingham Hall also has the remains of a medieval deer park.

The Manor of Whittingham was granted a market in 1267. This was transferred to the centre of the village by 1550.