Elveden, Suffolk

Elveden, Suffolk

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Elveden is a village and civil parish in the West Suffolk district of Suffolk. In 2005 it had a population of 270. The village is bypassed by the A11 between Cambridge and Norwich, which ran through the centre of the village prior to 2014.

The name Elveden seems to come from Old English *├Žlfa-dene 'elves' valley': the name appears, translated into Latin, as vallis nympharum 'valley of nymphs' in the mid-12th-century Miracula sancte Wihtburge. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the village was often referred to as Elden and the village name is ofte incorrectly spelt today as 'Elvedon'.

Elveden and the nearby village of Weeting were used as the code-names for investigations into the News of the World phone hacking allegations in July 2011. Operation Elveden is the name of the investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments having been made to the police in exchange for information.

Elveden Hall is the centrepiece of the Elveden Estate, a vast country estate that is now the family seat of the Anglo-Irish Guinness family, Earls of Iveagh. Formerly, it was the family home of Maharaja Duleep Singh, who is buried in the churchyard of St Andrew and St Patrick Church; his grave is visited by the Sikh community who pay homage to the last ruler of the Sikh Empire. A Center Parcs holiday complex is located to the north of the village in nearby Elveden Forest.

The Elveden War Memorial is a war memorial to the First World War dead. It is situated at the meeting of the three parishes of Eriswell, Icklingham and Elveden to which the monument honours. The names of the dead of each parish are listed separately on three of the sides of the column's base. To the original WWI listings there are also WWII additions. The fourth (NW) side has a locked door that is used to access the inside of the column and via a spiral staircase to get to the upper parts of the monument. Small slits in the column's sides are used to light its interior and can be easily seen from the outside.

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It is a Corinthian column 127 feet (39 m) tall, made of Weldon Stone and surmounted by an urn of Portland stone. Edward Cecil Guinness, owner of Elvden, commissioned the architect Clyde Francis Young to design and build the column which took two years to erect and was completed in 1921. It was listed in 1954 and is now a Grade 2* listed structure.

War monuments of this type and height are rare and it is thought that the design was inspired by the 120 feet (37 m) Coke Column or Leicester Monument which is located at the relatively close Holkham estate in Norfolk. Perhaps in an act of one-up-manship, the Thetford monument is slightly taller than its close by companion but out of tact is shorter than Nelson's Column in London (144 feet (44 m).

It is close to the A11, where there is a lay-by which can be used to visit the site.

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