Beccles for a puritan,
Bungay for the poor,
Halesworth for a drunkard,
And Blythburgh for a whore
old verse

The settlement was recorded in Domesday as "Haleurda", "Halesuuorda" or "Healesuurda".

The town certainly became an important brewing and malting centre after the opening of the River Blyth Navigation after an Act of Parliament in 1756. Today, the canal is little more than a stream, giving no clue as to its former navigability.

The Halesworth Malt Trail, part of the Malt Project aims to show how important malting was to the town. Patrick Stead (after whom the hospital is named) was a major figure in the malt trade here.

Dawson Turner and his son-in-law, William Hooker, owned the Bridge Street brewery in 1817, where his son Joseph was born. Both William and son were later to become directors of Kew Gardens. It is also said that William Hooker began his extensive collection of herbs and four botanical works whilst living in the town. Today the Cut is a major arts venue in a converted brewery building near the station.

Halesworth Museum can be found at the town's railway station. …




Date Order

The 1791 Universal British Directory lists John Andrews as a farrier and victualler, and Harley Archer as a butcher and victualler.

The 1844 White's Directory lists 4 brewers - Edward Prime (Bungay Road), Reeve & Cracknell (Market Place), Samuel Self (Chediston Street), Denny Wade (Mill Hill) - and also lists 8 beer houses run by:

Robert Barber (Chediston Street),

J Bird (Church Lane),

Mary Genery (Broadway),

Chas. Haward (Chediston Street),

Thomas Kent (Quay Street),

Cathan. Scarle (Quay Street),

William Smith (Chediston Street),

Jno. Wade (Bungay Road).…


Some details from "Suffolk Airfields in WW2" by Graham Smith.