Combs

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Introduction

Combs is a widely scattered settlement close to Stowmarket and Combs Ford, which was recorded in Domesday as "Cambas". The village was once famed for tanning and exported leather worldwide. This ended in 1990.

A post mill, situated on Mill Lane, was demolished in 1937. Another windmill (Upper Mill), built some time after the Medieval period, stood off Mill Road, near Battisford Tye. This mill fell into disuse about 1922 and was demolished in 1927.

Two tanneries operated in Tannery Road: Webb's Tannery was established in 1720. Most of the older buildings have been demolished, but some still remain in situ, including the steam plant. The Combs Tannery was a later establishment, built in the 18th or 19th century. It's now been converted into industrial units.

The Singing Postman (Allan Smethurst) although a Norfolk resident for many years (and surprisingly, Blackburn-born), made some of his records in Combs (Though his big hits were recorded in Lowestoft).

Until very recently the Punch Bowl was technically in Combs, but is generally thought of as being in Battisford (and is more accessible from that village than from Combs). The boundary used to go through pub's the car park.

Gallery

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History

Note: Combs Ford is usually listed with Combs and the following could refer to either place.

The 1844 White's Directory lists a beer house keeper called Thomas Mayhew (also listed as a shopkeeper) [Baker's Arms, Combs Ford?]

The 1855 White's Directory lists a beer house keeper called Wm. Hazell (Upper Town).

The 1861 Census lists William Hasell (Agricultural Labourer & Beerhouse, Moats Square, pub not named, Head/Married/57/born Battisford) [Gardener's Arms at Moats Tye?]…

Acknowledgements

Some historical information from English Heritage's National Monuments Record.

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