Clare  Suffolk


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Clare like this:

CLARE, a small town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Risbridge district, Suffolk. The town stands on the river Stour and the Cambridge and Sudbury railway, 9½ miles WNW of Sudbury; and has a r. station. It dates from early Saxon times; was a frontier town of the kingdom of East Anglia; had a castle in the time of Edward the Confessor; and gave the title of Earl to the descendants of Richard Fitz-Gilbert, who was with the Conqueror at Hastings. ...

The heiress of one of the Earls married Lionel, third son of Edward III.; and that prince was then created Duke of Clarence, -a title which ever afterwards remained with the royal family, and was last revived in 1789 in the person of Prince William, who became William IV. The castle was strengthened and enlarged after the Conquest, and occupied upwards of 20 acres; and considerable remains of it still exist. A church was founded in it, in the time of Canute, by Earl Alfric, son of Withgar; was given, in 1090, to the abbey of Bec in Normandy; served thence as a Benedictine priory church till 1124, when the monks were removed to Stoke; and was replaced, in 1248, by an Augustinian priory. A modernized edifice, bearing the priory's name, fully preserving the monastic appearance, and used as a mansion, still stands; and the priory church, now serving as a barn, is on the north-east side, and was the burial-place of Edmund Mortimer, son of Lionel, and Joan of Acre, daughter of Edward I. The parish church is a beautiful structure, of decorated English date, with a square tower; was enlarged in 1851; and has an octagonal font. There are Independent and Baptist chapels, two public schools, alms-houses and other charities £249 a year, a post office‡ under Sudbury, a banking office, and a chief inn. A weekly market is held on Monday; and fairs on Easter Tuesday and 26 July. The town is also a seat of petty sessions and a polling-place. -The parish contains likewise the hamlet of Chilton. Acres, 2, 228. Real property, £6, 890. Pop., 1, 657. Houses, 378. The property is much subdivided. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely. Value, £245.* Patron, the Duchy of Lancaster. -The sub-district contains eight parishes. Acres, 16, 677. Pop., 5, 279. Houses, 1, 155.

Clare through time

Clare is now part of St Edmundsbury district. Click here for graphs and data of how St Edmundsbury has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Clare itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Clare, in St Edmundsbury and Suffolk | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 18th January 2022

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