Combs, Suffolk

Combs, Suffolk

Sheridans

Combs is located directly to the south of Stowmarket, with a half-mile (800m) of glacial valley known locally as 'Slough'.

There are several interesting historic buildings including the old village school, the tannery and the former model farm that has now been developed as dwellings. Combs Post Office is now a private dwelling but the original postbox is still there the building is Grade 2 listed.

According to White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk published in 1885 the village had 1,174 inhabitants at the 1881 census, although this does include Combs Ford, which nowadays is regarded as being a suburb of Stowmarket.

White's also notes that at that time the Combs Tannery was owned by Messrs Webb and Sons and carried on the tanning of leather and manufacture of glove and gaiter leather, leather machine bands and leather hose. At that time in 1885 the Tannery employed 150 persons. It also states that an artesian well had been sunk on the site at a depth of 895 feet (273 m) and a diameter of 10 inches (254 mm) at the surface. Many interesting geological specimens were extracted and deposited in Ipswich Museum.

The village was struck by an F1/T2 Tornado on November 23, 1981, as part of the record-breaking nationwide tornado outbreak on that day.

Combs was a rural backwater where Dissenters met hiding from the authorities. A house church was established there in 1696. In 1719, the people of Combs helped to form the Independent Chapel, Stowmarket.

Combs Chapel was one of seven causes under the direction of the Independent Chapel, Stowmarket, with a common membership, Deacons’ (then Elders’) and Church Meetings. It was an extremely effective way of ministering to people living in 500 square miles of Suffolk. The chapel was built after folk had been meeting in a local barn since 1862. The big and grand occasions were held in Stowmarket.

The original chapel was replaced with a prefabricated building in 1969 and when that began to deteriorate, with most people journeying the two miles (3 km) to Stowmarket United Reformed Church, it was decided to cease having a separate building within the village.

Mercedes

Mercedes

A Service of Thanksgiving for its Life and Witness was held on Sunday, October 11, 1992. Non-conformist church life continues in the village somewhat as it did in 1686 – in people’s homes, with a monthly coffee morning and an occasional service and event. The former congregation, with others from the village, fully participates in the life of the Stowmarket town church.

The Church of St Mary is an ancient structure, consisting of a nave, chancel, aisles, and a square tower, in which are four bells.

In 1963 the present organ was installed by William Boggis of Diss.

In 1995, through the generosity of Clifford Cook, the western sections of the aisles were transformed by the building of a kitchen and toilet facilities on the north side and a vestry and meeting room on the south.

Mercedes

Mercedes

Mercedes