Boxford is a large attractive village of pastel coloured cottages. It is situated four miles west of Hadleigh and six miles east of Sudbury in Suffolk. The River Box weaves through the centre of the village. The Anglo-Saxon name is derived from the river – ‘the ford by the box trees’. In the Domesday Book, 1086, the village is recorded as having eighteen residents, but in the 16th century, similar to many Suffolk villages, it had become prosperous due to the woollen industry. The Fleece Hotel, the 15th century coaching inn in the High Street, obviously derives its name from the village’s earlier prosperity.
Butchers Lane has a row of colour washed timber-framed houses with overhanging upper floors. Some date from the 15th century. St. Mary’s Church dates from the 14th century. The north porch is possibly Suffolk’s finest 14th century wooden porch. The church contains a small brass memorial in the floor to David Birde, a rector’s son, who died in 1606. He was only a few months old. He lies in bed with two tiny shoes underneath.
Boxford, Massachusetts, is associated with the village in Suffolk. The Winthrop family who lived at Groton near Boxford, helped found the Massachusetts Colony.
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