Foxhall

Foxhall is a Parish situated 3 miles to the east of Ipswich in Suffolk.  Foxhall is a rural community with about 100 homes and 200 adult residents.  It covers an area about 650 hectares and has the Mill River which flows into the River Deben, running through the centre. The existence of the Parish was recorded in the Domesday Book (1086).

Not surprisingly, Foxhall (or Foxhole) means fox's burrow.  The Domesday survey mentions one holding under Foxhall; 15 acres valued at 2 shillings held by the Abbot of Ely. Under the heading of "Derneford", which is no doubt Darnford in Foxhall, there are 80 acres and 2 acres of meadow, 3 borders in Saxon times having 4 ploughteams when it was valued at 40 shillings, but at the time of the survey 3 ploughteams only, when it was valued at 15 shillings".

Foxhall had a parish church, situated to the north of Mill River, called "All Saints", which was in ruins by the mid-16th century. Foxhall became an ecclesiastical hamlet to Brightwell in 1530.

233 acres were enclosed under Private Act of Lands 1803. Foxhasll at that time was a small dispersed settlement with the Mill River flowing west to east across the parish. Heathland and wood occupied a large proportion of the northern sector of the parish.  A small secondary settlement existed on the extreme southern boundary with Nacton.

In 1844, a Beerhouse existed, The Waddling Duck. This was owned by the Cobbolds, who also owned much of the land and had 22 acres of hop grounds in the parish. In those days pubs stayed open from 5 a.m. to midnight. Trade at the Waddling Duck was brisk on a Sunday which tended to attract a lot of undesirables who gathered on the bank opposite, making ribald remarks about people who happened to be passing. Mr. Cobbold's bailiff; who was a regular worshipper at Bucklesham church, took a poor view of this behaviour. After he had made a number of complaints, the licence was withdrawn from The Waddling Duck and was never restored.

Another public house also existed in Foxhall, The Shepherd and Dog, again owned by Cobbolds.  The parish boundary, with Nacton, ran through the middle of the pub.  The original buildings (the pub and a pair of cottages) were demolished to make way for the widening of the Felixstowe Road and a new pub built some way back.  In the 1920 the road was narrow and unmade as can be seen in the picture of a Eastern Counties open top bus at Nacton Crossroads.  Opposite the old pub there was a shop and tearoom owned by Mr & Mrs Horton.

The population of the parish has never been large; 20 in 1086.  In 1674 there were 11 houses growing to 21 (150 people) by 1801.  By 1901 there were 40 houses and nearly 200 people reaching 356 people and 68 houses by 1951.  By 1999 there were 122 people of voting age living in about 64 houses.

Colonel Tomline (a Pretyman) bought Orwell Park and 30,000 acres about 1850.  Captain Ernest George Pretyman inherited the estate in 1889 (latterly Rt Hon DL, JP Lord of the Manors of Tyrells-Feltwell-cum-Foxhall).  The houses on the north side of Bucklesham Road, west of the crossroads were built post 1920 on land sold by the Broke Hall Estate. Low House, originally two farm cottages, existed in the early 1800s. High House in its original form, was built in 1857, possibly as a dairy.  The now brick built Woodhouse has a stone tablet with the date 1778 thereon, again originally two semi-detached properties coalesced in 1963.  Many of the original houses were small and were converted buses or railway cottages.

In a small planting of firs is a iron faced monument in memory of the Rev George Routh, erected by his widow in 1831.  This gave rise to the name of Monument Farm. George was the son of a "portitor" (carrer) of Norwich and had been born there. He went to schools in Norwich, Hoddesdon, Herts and Wakefield, Yorkshire.  At Oxford University he received a BA (1762). He was ordained deacon (Norwich) on 19th September 1762; priest on 24th September 1821.  He owned Low House at some time.  He died on 26th Januaryu 1821 at Ipswich.