The Alde-Ore Valley comprises a quite small, coastal-rural area — bounded broadly by Dunwich, Laxfield, Framlingham, Orford and Shingle Street — of maybe 300 square miles (800 km²).
The red line on the map is not a "red line" as such defining our "patch", but just the barely discernible watershed of the Alde Valley, within which arbitrarily lies our main area of interest — as indeed is suggested by our name. We hold what we believe is a precious, unique archive resource, which is listed on our downloadable Index.
Villages, hamlets and other (sometimes unpopulated) locations include Aldringham, Badingham, Benhall (Low Street), Benhall Green, Benhall Street, Bentwaters, Blaxhall, Boyton, Bruisyard, Butley, Campsea Ashe (sometimes spelt "Campsea Ash"), Capel St Andrew, Carlton, Chillesford, Coldfair Green, Cransford, Curlew Green, Darsham, Dennington, Dunwich, Eastbridge, Eyke, Farnham, Fordley, Friston, Gedgrave, Great Glemham, Gromford (Cundle Green), Hacheston, Havergate Island, Hazlewood (formerly Haselwood), Heveningham, Hollesley, Iken, Kelsale, Knodishall, Laxfield, Little Glemham, Marlesford, Middleton, Middleton Moor, Minsmere, Parham, Peasenhall, Rendham, Rendlesham, Saxtead, Saxtead Green, Shingle Street, Sibton, Sibton Green, Sizewell, Slaughden, Snape, Snape Watering, Sternfield, Stratford St Andrew, Sudbourne, Sweffling (formerly Swefling), Theberton, Thorpeness, Tunstall, Tunstall Common, Wantisden, Westleton and Yoxford.
Our area contains the whole of the ancient Plomesgate Hundred (shown in dark green above), which was replaced in 1894 by Plomesgate Rural District (shown in red on the right), and then in 1934 subsumed into the new Blythe Rural District together with our other villages in the southern wedge of Blything. In turn, they and the Urban Districts of Aldeburgh, Leiston-cum-Sizewell and Saxmundham became part of Suffolk Coastal District in 1974. The one exception is Laxfield, the source of the Alde towards the north-west, which is in on the edge of Mid Suffolk District.
We have two downloadable documents detailing how all those changes affected each of our civil parishes, which we hope you will find useful —
"Alde Valley local authorities (1830 to date)" and "Alde Valley Registration Districts (1837 to date)". You can find them at the foot of the ⬇︎Downloads page.
Nowadays, our area comprises parts of postcode areas IP12 and IP13, and the whole of IP15, IP16 and IP17. In April/May 2019, Suffolk Coastal is formally merging with Waveney District to form the still essentially rural East Suffolk District. This will be little over half the area of the former Ipswich-based East Suffolk County Council of 1888 to 1974 (the area shown in red and pink on the map above right). Laxfield will remain in Mid Suffolk.
We hope you find this information useful.
History groups immediately outside the Alde Valley include the Framlingham & District Local History & Preservation Society, the Wickham Market Area Archive Centre and the Worlingworth Local History Group, links to all of which (and to other not-quite-so-local groups) can be found on our "Family etc. History Groups in Suffolk" page. Other nearby towns or villages are Southwold, Blythburgh and Halesworth, which all lie in the Blyth Valley; and Woodbridge, Bawdsey and Felixstowe, all on or near the Deben — and for most of which we also hold specific information.