is an industrial market town in the county of Suffolk
, next to the borders of Essex
. It lies approximately fourteen miles southeast of Cambridge
and sixty miles north of London
. Haverhill is the second town of the borough of St Edmundsbury
, and has a population of around 22,000. The name of the town is pronounced 'Hay-ver-hill'.
The town centre lies at the base of a gentle dip in the chalk hills of the Newmarket Ridge
; running through the town is the Stour Brook
, which goes on to join the River Stour
just outside the town. Rapid expansion of the town over the last two decades means that the western edge of Haverhill now includes the hamlet of Hanchet End
. The surrounding countryside largely consists of arable land
Haverhill dates back to at least Saxon
times, and the town's market is recorded in the Domesday book
(1086). Whilst most of its historical buildings were lost to the great fire on June 14 1667
, it does however retain one notable Tudor
house (reportedly given to Anne of Cleves
as part of her divorce from Henry VIII
, and thus titled Anne of Cleves House
) and many interesting Victorian buildings
Following a planning review in 1956, Haverhill was targeted for expansion. This was primarily to resettle communities from London which had been devastated during World War II. As part of this plan, new housing settlements and new factories were built. A later review in 1962 planned for a threefold increase in population from the then population of 5,446. This influx of people changed many aspects of life in Haverhill. One noticeable change is the that the local Suffolk accent (still spoken by the towns older residents) has largely been replaced by a London/South-east England accent that is characterised as Estuary English.
Nowadays, Haverhill is predominantly a modern and young town, the relatively small town centre is surrounded by many large housing developments, completed at various periods between the 1950s and the present. Recently, it has seen the growth of small, but noticeable Portuguese and Polish communities.
Haverhill's economy is dominated by industry
, and a large industrial area on the southern side of the town is home to a large number of manufacturing companies such as Wisdom toothbrushes
clothing, Winmau Dartboards
, and Grampian Foods
(in Little Wratting
near Haverhill). Other companies deal in chemicals (e.g. International Flavours & Fragrances
), waste processing, transport and construction. In 1982, the international biotechnology
opened site in Haverhill for manufacturing pharmaceuticals.
A weekly market is held in the town in the High Street each Saturday and a smaller market held each Friday in the town's market square. This has been a long running tradition throughout Haverhill's history (as is also the case for many other market towns in England).
There are various sporting activities available in Haverhill, including a leisure centre (with swimming pool) , an eighteen-hole golf
course , a dancing school specialising in Ballet, Modern, Tap and Acro/Gymnastics , a ten-pin bowling
alley, and a snooker
club. Aside from sport, the Haverhill Arts Centre features a cinema and has a varied schedule of music, drama, dance, and comedy. This facility is housed in the town hall
, a grade II listed building
and opened as an arts centre in 1994. A new 5-screen multiplex cinema complex has been approved and is currently being constructed in the centre of the town . There is also a thriving Angling Club with waters on the River Stour
and the Flood Park Lake. Haverhill is also home to The Centre for Computing History
- a computer museum established to tell the story of the Information Age.
The busy A1307 road connects Haverhill to Cambridge
and this route is heavy with commuter traffic most mornings and evenings. Local bus services on this route run approximately every 30 minutes during the day, and hourly in evenings and Sundays. The bus station in Haverhill also provides local services to some of the surrounding towns and villages.
The town has no railway
station, and is sometimes said to be the largest town in England without one (though the claim is untrue). It once had two railway stations and two interconnected railways. The Stour Valley Railway
ran from Cambridge
and beyond via Haverhill North whilst the Colne Valley and Halstead Railway
ran from Haverhill South to Marks Tey
via Castle Hedingham
. For the most part Haverhill North was used as the passenger train terminus for both the Stour Valley and Colne Valley railways to allow interchange between the two railways. Both stations are now demolished however many bridges, cuttings and embankments are still visible in Haverhill and beyond. In recent years the Cambridge to Sudbury Rail Renewal Association
has been started to try to bring the railway back to the town.
For national and international flights, Haverhill is situated close to London Stansted Airport which lies approximately to the south. The much smaller Cambridge City Airport also serves some domestic flights.
In 2000-1 two thousand inhabitants of Haverhill were photographed and morphed into a single image by the artist Chris Dorley-Brown
. The resulting image was displayed in the National Portrait Gallery
. This was the biggest photographic morphing project of its kind.
In November 2004, Haverhill made a claim for a world first, becoming the only known town to feature a laser-lit sculpture on a roundabout. The high steel sculpture, called the Spirit of Enterprise, is situated on the main gateway roundabout on the west side of town, and was mostly funded by local businesses.
, the author of the first constitution in North America, was born in Haverhill in 1578. Pop musician Steve Rinaldi
of the bands Rinaldi Sings
and The Moment
, who featured a map of the town on the cover of their first single, "In This Town" (1984), is originally from Haverhill. The actress Charlotte Rampling
was born in Sturmer
, just outside Haverhill.
Haverhill is twinned
with Pont St. Esprit
. The town of Haverhill, Massachusetts
is named after Haverhill.