A community perspective from the 1840s to 1920s contains entries for the community from the Suffolk Directories of White (1844) and Kelly (1929) and William Dutt’s gazeteer of Suffolk (1927; first prepared in the 1890s)


MDDLETON, a well-built village, on the south bank of the river Minsmere, 4 miles N.E. by N. of Saxmundham, has in its parish 599 inhabitants, and 2024 acres of land, of which 603 acres are in the all in the adjoining hamlet of FORDLEY, which was formerly a separate parish.The united parishes are now commonly called Middleton-cum-Fordley, and in ecclesiastical matters, Fordley-with-Middleton, the former being a rectory, and the latter a vicarage. Part of them is in low marshes and the Minsmere level, (see Theberton,) and they are in three manors, viz., Middleton-Chickering and Fordley, of which the Rev. C. M. Doughty is lord; and Middleton-Austin, of which Daniel Packard, Esq., is lord ; but part of the soil belongs to Mrs. Howlett, Mr. G. Randall, and several smaller owners. Middleton Church (Holy Trinity) is a small fabric, with a tower, containing five bells, and surmounted by a leaded spire. The roof is thatched with reeds. Fordley Church, of which no vestiges remain, stood in the same Churchyard, and was a smaller edifice, which was suffered to go to decay many years ago. In 1620, complaint was made to the Bishop of Norwich, that when service did not begin and end at both churches exactly at the same time, the bells and steeple of one disturbed the congregation of the other. To remedy this inconvenience, the bishop directed that the same minister should serve both, and officiate in them alternately. Fordley is a discharged rectory, valued in K.B. at £5, and in 1835 at £569, with the vicarages of Middleton and Westleton annexed to it. The Rev. Harrison Packard, B.A., is patron and incumbent, and receives £8 per annum from the great tithes of Middleton, which belong to the Rev. Edmund Holland, and have been commuted for a yearly modus of .£441. 10s. Middleton was appropriated to Leiston Abbey by Ranulph Glanville, and was granted by Henry VIII. to Charles Duke of Suffolk. The poor have eleven small ground rents, amounting to £3. 9s. per annum, but the donors are unknown. The Wesleyans have a chapel here, built in 1828.

Marked 1, live on Middleton Moor, and 2, in Fordley

Adams Wm. tailor
1Andrews Wm. fishmonger
Barber Mrs Elizabeth
Barnes Jacob, beerhouse
Bedwell Wm. blacksmith
Bridges John, nursery & seedsman
Brown John, bricklayer
Broom Joseph, hawker
Davy John, schoolmaster
Foulsham Rt. wheelgt. & vict. Bell
Hunt Samuel, grocer and draper
Ludbrooke Wm. shopkeeper
Masterson Thomas, tailor
Noller Wm. butcher
1 Packard Daniel, gent. Mill Farm
Prior Thomas, gardener
Read John, gentleman
Richbell Henry and Augustus, maltsters, &c.
Savage Richard, gardener
White Rev Joseph, curate, Rectory

Bedwell Wm. (& shopkeeper)
Bezant Henry
Crisp Christphr.
Goodwin John
Rous Richard

Clark John
I Eade Thomas

(*are Owners.)
* Arnold John
* Barnes Jacob
2 Canham Geo.
* Chandler John
Dix Robert
2 Dale William Cloughton
Drew James
* Free Wm.&Pnh
Free Wm. junior
1 Gayfer Wm.
2 Darkins Richd.
* Geater Thos. (& corn miller)
* Hunt Keziah
* Marshlain Rt.
Newson Wm.
* Packard Daniel
* Randall George
* Richbell John
* Richbell Philip
Smith Robert

Wm.Free, to Ipswich, Tuesday and Friday


MIDDLETON-cum-FORDLEY is a parish and village on the river Minsmere, 3 miles south-east from Darsham station on the Ipswich and Lowestoft section of the London and North Eastern railway, 5 north-east from Saxmundham and 8 south-by-east from Halesworth, in the Eye division of the county, Blything hundred, petty sessional division and union, Halesworth and Saxmundham county court district, rural deanery of South Dunwich, archdeaconry of Suffolk and diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The church of Holy Trinity is an old building of flint with stone dressings and a thatched roof, in the Early English style, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch and embattled western tower, which contains 5 bells and is surmounted by a spire: the church was externally faced with flint and otherwise restored in 1864: a stained window was placed in the chancel in 1877 in memory of the Rev. Joseph White, a former rector: there is an ancient piscina, a small organ and an ancient carved stone font: the porch has a very perfect Norman arch, and in the aisle are several brasses, including one to Anthony Pettow, 1610: the church affords 216 sittings, mostly appropriated. The register dates from the year 1653. The living of Middleton-cum-Fordley is a discharged rectory, joint net value £350, including 12 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Church Patronage Society, and held since 1903 by the Rev. John Manly Savery M.A. of St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. Fordley church stood in the same churchyard, but no vestige now remains. Here is a Wesleyan chapel. There is a men's club and a women's institute in the village. The charities amount to about £20 yearly. The trustees of the late Henry Montagu Doughty esq. who are lords of the manors of Middleton-cum-Fordley and Middleton Chickering, Edmund Robert Hollond esq. J.P. the trustees of the late Robert Flick esq. Samuel A. Flick esq. and the trustees of the late Dr. Randall are the principal landowners. The soil is mixed; subsoil, 2,041 acres; the population in 1921 was 506.

Fordley, an adjoining hamlet, was once a separate parish, but is now united with Middleton, and the parish is called Middleton-cum-Fordley.

Sexton, Mrs. Elizabeth Harper.
Post Office. Letters from Saxmundham, via Yoxford. Westleton is the nearest


Middleton church (3 m. S.E. of Darsham) has Norm. N. and S. doorways. Note also (1) the font; and (2) some brasses. This church was served by the monks of Leiston (2 m. distant); the house they inhabited is now occupied by the parish clerk. The church of the parish of Fordley (now united with Middleton) stood in Middleton churchyard.