Debenham is an attractive village in Suffolk. In pre-industrial England, wealth came from farming, especially from sheep and wool-processing. Debenham was one prosperous centre, already a substantial place when recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086, and continued so through medieval times. Modern industry went elsewhere so much of the old village centre has been preserved, although several buildings were lost in a fire of 1744, and others are hidden by modern facades.
This village (population 2210 in 2011) has only a tenuous connection with Debenhams retail stores, which folded in 2020 having struggled for some years. The business was founded in London in 1778 by William Clark, who in 1813 took on a partner William Debenham (1794 – 1863) from Alpheton in Suffolk. That village, 20 miles southwest of Debenham near Sudbury, also rated a mention in the Domesday Book, with similar trades, but never grew to the same extent.
The village lies 6 miles to the E of the main A140 road to north Norwich and south to Stowmarket and the main A14 road.
The nearest train station to the village is Needham Market.
- 1 Needham Market Train Station, Station Yard, Needham Market, IP6 8AS (9 miles SW of Debenham). On Great Eastern Main Line running London Liverpool St to East Anglia. Station managed by and services run by Greater Anglia
- Galloway Buses service 114 runs Diss to Ipswich stopping in the village.
- Galloway Buses service 115 runs Mendlesham to Ipswich stopping in the village.
- Galloway Buses service 116 runs between the village and Ipswich.
The village is on the HoSR cycle route connecting to National Cycle Route 1 at Framlingham 9 miles to the E. HoSR also connects with Regional cycle Route 30 (Lowestoft to Thetford and beyond) 9½ miles N at Eye.
The village is small enough to see on foot.
- 1 Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, High St, Debenham IP14 6QN.
- 2 Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, Wetheringsett, Stowmarket, IP14 5PW, ☏ +44 1449 766899. April to the end of September on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Heritage railway that runs between Haughley and Laxfield.
- 1 Owl Sanctuary, Stonham Barns, Pettaugh Rd, Stonham Aspal IP14 6AT, ☏ +44 3456 807897, email@example.com. daily 10:00-late afternoon.
- 1 Carters of Suffolk (Specialist Collectable Teapot Pottery), Stonham Barns, Pettaugh Rd, Stonham Aspal IP14 6AT (4 miles SW of village), ☏ +44 1728 860475. M-F 09:00-17:30, Sa 10:30-16:30.
- 2 Coop (Supermarket), 1 Chancery Lane, Debenham IP14 6RN, ☏ +44 1728 861997. M-Sa 07:00-22:00. Su 10:00-16:00.
- 1 Bistro at the Barns (Restaurant), Unit 24, Stonham Barns, Stonham Aspal, Pettaugh Rd IP14 6AT (4 miles SW of the village), ☏ +44 1449 711257, firstname.lastname@example.org. daily from 08:00.
- 2 [dead link] The Chilli Farm Café (Cae & Deli), Norwich Rd, Mendlesham IP14 5NQ (5 miles W of village), ☏ +44 1449 766344. M- F 09:00-17:00, Sa 09:00-17:00, Su 10:00-16:00.
- 3 Debenham Fish & Chip Shop, 32 High St, Debenham IP14 6QW, ☏ +44 1728 860883. M Tu 16:30-21:00, W-Sa 11:30-14:00 & 16:30-21:00.
- 1 The Woolpack (Pub & Food), 49 High St, Debenham IP14 6QN, ☏ +44 1728 860516. Pub: M-Sa 11:00-23:00, Su 12:00-22:30; Food: M-Sa 12:00-14:30, Su 12:00-14:30 (bookings only).
- 2 The Angel Inn (Pub), 5 High St, Debenham IP14 6QL, ☏ +44 1728 861700.
- 1 Cherry Tree Cottage (B&B), Debenham IP14 6QT, ☏ +44 1728 861340, email@example.com. from £40/night/person.
- 2 Flindor Cottage (B&B), The Street, Framsden IP14 6HG (4 miles S of village), ☏ +44 1473 890058, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-out: by 11:00. from £110/two people.
- 3 [dead link] Elm Tree Farm (B&B), Debenham Rd, Stonham Aspal IP14 6AE (5 miles W of village), ☏ +44 1449 711316, email@example.com.
As of Sept 2022, Debenham has a patchy 4G signal from EE, but nothing from the other UK carriers. 5G has not reached this area.