Facts About Sudbury
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.
The Church of All Saints was established in the 12th century before being bought by Adam the Monk, who then passed the church and its lands to the Abbey of St Albans. St Bartholemew’s Priory and the Chapel of Holy Sepulchre were also established in the 12th century. Sudbury was one of the first towns in which Edward III settled the Flemings, allowing the weaving and silk industries to prosper for centuries during the Late Middle Ages. As the main town in the area, Sudbury prospered too, and many great houses and churches were built, giving the town a major historical legacy. The Woolsack in the House of Lords was originally stuffed with wool from the Sudbury area, a sign of both the importance of the wool industry and of the wealth of the donors.
The town’s main football club, A.F.C. Sudbury, was formed on 1 June 1999 by the amalgamation of two existing clubs, Sudbury Town and Sudbury Wanderers. Three times FA Vase finalists, they are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division. The local rugby club, Sudbury R.F.C. have previously played as high as National 3 in English rugby, but are currently in the London 2 North East. The club’s ground is in neighbouring village, Great Cornard. The town’s oldest sports club is Sudbury Cricket Club, founded in 1787, who currently play in the East Anglian Premier League.
The Kingfisher Leisure Centre, next to the railway station, has a 25m swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre and a soft play area for children. It is home to Sudbury Storms Swimming Club. Sudbury Rowing Club, formerly Sudbury Boat Club, was founded in 1874 and has held a regatta in the town every year since, except during the world wars. It has a boathouse and clubhouse in Quay Lane and rows on a 1500m stretch of the Stour by Friars Meadow.