Explore Mildenhall, Suffolk
Mildenhall is an attractive medieval market town mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086 and can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon times. It's surrounded by the River Lark on the edge of the fens. The ancient Parish of Mildenhall including Beck Row, Holywell Row, Kenny Hill and West Row covered 17,000 acres and was the largest in Suffolk and the town boasts a rich history including many fine timber framed buildings.
It is an ideal place to stay to visit nearby historic towns, such as Ely with its famous cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and the University City of Cambridge. An excellent local bus service operates daily Monday to Saturday from Mildenhall Bus Station to most of these places.
During the Second World War, Mildenhall was an important bomber base. Since 1950 it has been home to the United States Air Force and is now one of the most important American installations in this country. For aviation enthusiasts, occasional low flying aircraft can be spotted in the area. RAF Lakenheath is a few miles away and is still operational as part of The United States presence in Europe.
The town centres on the Market Place with its 16th century hexagonal distinctive Market Cross and Town Pump. A market is held here every Friday and was established by Royal Charter in 1412. It is typical of small markets around East Anglia offering a variety of goods for sale from fruit and vegetables to clothing and tools. The Parish Pump stands in the market place and piped water was not available until the 1940's. Criminals used to be hung in the market place.
St Mary's Parish Church stands off the Market Place and is considered to be one of the finest in West Suffolk. It was rebuilt in the 15th century yet retains many original features dating back to 12th and 13th centuries including its angel roof, wide aisles, woodcarvings and ornate East window. The spectacular ceiling has exquisitely carved angels and the 112 feet tall square tower provides the opportunity to view the surrounding countryside including the River Lark and its riverside walks.
The Mildenhall Museum situated in King Street contains displays of times past, the local wildlife, the history of the RAF base since its opening in 1934. There is also a replica of the ‘Mildenhall Treasure' a world famous horde of thirty two pieces of 4th century Roman silver tableware found nearby near West Row in 1942 - this was rated amongst one of the top ten treasure finds in Britain and the original 4th century tableware is to be found in the British Museum. Visitors can also learn about the great Mildenhall to Melbourne Air Race.
The Forest Heath area covering approximately 380 sq km contains unique contrasting landscapes of brecks, fens, chalk downland and clay downland, as well as Britain's largest lowland pine forest. Thetford Forest is a short drive or cycle ride away and offers miles of public footpaths and bridleways for ramblers and riders to enjoy.
With it's close proximity to the River Lark, there are many species of animal, flora and fauna to spot locally. There are miles of public footpaths and bridleways for ramblers and riders to enjoy, including a short one mile walk to Barton Mills or for those more energetic walkers the Lark Valley Walk a longer ten mile one along the River Lark to Bury St Edmunds.