Facts about Sudbury
Sudbury is a market town in the English county of Suffolk. It is located on the River Stour near the Essex border and is 60 miles north-east of London. At the 2011 census, the parish has a population of 13,063, rising to 21,971 including the adjoining parish of Great Cornard. It is the largest town of Babergh, the local government district, and is represented in the UK Parliament as part of the South Suffolk constituency.
Evidence of Sudbury as a settlement originates from the end of the 8th century during the Anglo-Saxon era, and its market was established in the early 11th century. Its textile industries prospered during the Late Middle Ages; the wealth of which funded many of its buildings and churches. The town became notable for its art in the 18th century, being the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough, whose landscapes offered inspiration to John Constable, another Suffolk painter of the surrounding Stour Valley area.
Sudbury’s history dates back into the age of the Saxons. The town’s earliest mention is in 799 AD, when Aelfhun, Bishop of Dunwich, died in the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the town as Suthberie, presumed to distinguish it from Norwich or Bury St Edmunds to the north, and ca. 995 is recorded as Suthbyrig. The town is also mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, as a market town where the local people came to barter their goods. The market was established in 1009. During this period the town was surrounded by a defensive ditch and a diverted section of the River Stour.