top of page

About Sudbury, Suffolk

An Ancient Market Town 

The ancient town of Sudbury, which stands on the bank of the River Stour on the southern border of the county of Suffolk, has existed since Saxon times. The town was first mentioned in chronicles in 799 a.d. and was recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (late 9th Century) as Suthberie (or South Borough).

  • The town’s market was established in 1009 and continues to thrive today. Sudbury is mentioned as a market town in the Domesday Book (1086).

  • Prior to the Norman Conquest the Town had a mint and enjoyed the status of a borough.

  • Sudbury boasts an incredible 242 listed buildings (source: British Listed Buildings 2020), one of the highest concentrations of listed properties in the country giving the town a unique character and making it an excellent heritage destination.

  • An excellent way to navigate the Town's fascinating history on foot is via The Talbot Trail, a series of 14 bronze sculptures around town that illustrate various defining moments in Sudbury's history. The 'talbot' was a breed of hunting dog and the town coat of arms depicts the dog owned by the notorious Simon of Sudbury. Collect a Talbot Trail Map at our friendly Tourist Information Centre or use our Google Map Talbot Trail Guide here

  • Sudbury is surrounded by ancient commonlands which are free for visitors to enjoy via accessible routes. Much of the land has never been ploughed or farmed making them wildlife havens. We work in partnership with Sudbury Commonlands Charity to ensure the protection and promotion of these vital areas of sanctuary for wildlife and humans alike.

  • The first recorded Mayor of Sudbury was Robert Darry in 1331.

  • Edward the Third settled Flemish weavers in the town during the 14th Century. This resulted in the establishment of a weaving and clothmaking industry which thrives to the present day. Sudbury is proud to belong to The Wool Towns Association.

  • There are today four working silk mills in the town and in 2019 The Sudbury Silk Festival was established to recognise Sudbury's proud Silk Heritage and ongoing thriving industry.

  • The town was the birthplace of the artist Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) whose childhood home is now open as a gallery and museum.

  • The town currently has a population of at least 13,063, and if the adjacent parish of Great Cornard is included this rises to 21,971 (2011 census).

  • Sudbury is twinned with Clermont L’Oise in France, Hoxter in Germany and Fredensborg in Denmark

  • Sudbury gained Fairtrade Town status in 2013

  • In 2019, in recognition of Sudbury's active and charitable community we were awarded 'Town of the Year' in the Suffolk Community Awards and was awarded the 'Town of The Year' accolade again in 2023 for our significant strides for sustainability, community support during Covid and Cost of Living crisis and partnership working across the business community and with other councils.


bottom of page