A brief history of Haverhill
Although Haverhill has a history dating back to pre Roman times, it wasn’t until the late Middle Ages when the town really flourished. The marketplace is mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 and the town played a small role during the wool trade. In 1620, Haverhill became known as a Puritan town, producing many Puritan preachers who founded Haverhill in Massachusetts, America. Many of the town’s historical buildings were destroyed in a fire in 1667, although one notable building remains – the Anne of Cleves House, reportedly given to Anne of Cleves after her divorce from Henry VIII. By the end of the 19th century, Haverhill was a mill town with company housing, two stations and three windmills. After WWII there was a decline in industry and efforts were made to develop the town into an overspill community. Housing and industrial estates were built and today, Haverhill is a predominantly young and modern town.
Things to do in Haverhill
Haverhill Arts Centre
Dating back to 1883, the Haverhill Arts Centre has something going on almost every day of the year. It showcases comedy, theatre, cinema, broadcasts, children’s shows, pantomimes and workshops. There is also a varied programme of music performances including rock, jazz, classical and folk performances, as well as open mic nights. The centre also hosts a range of events for the whole family, such as free outdoor music concerts and community picnics. The centre has a cafe and bar selling light lunches and afternoon teas.
East Town Park
This country park on the edge of town is a great place to go on a sunny day. There is a network of footpaths that meander around Haverhill and along a disused railway track, which join onto the Stour Valley Walk. Filled with lush woodland, the park has plenty of wildlife to admire, including birds, lizards, butterflies and Muntjac deer. Kids will love the massive play area and recently added willow maze. The park hosts events throughout the year, including Easter egg hunts and Halloween trails.
D S Escape Rooms
If the weather is wet, it doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop. D S Escape Rooms is a fun, immersive experience where you have to solve a series of puzzles to escape a room within 60 minutes. There are six different adventures which you can choose, from outer space to ancient Egypt. You can have up to six people in one room, so it’s perfect for the whole family!
Clare Castle Country Park
A 12 minute drive from the centre of Haverhill takes you to Clare Castle Country Park. Set in the heart of the Stour Valley, it’s a great place to immerse yourself in wide open green spaces, riverside walks, ponds and woodland. You can explore the remains of a 13th century stone castle which once overlooked Clare town, or discover the old railway lines and Victorian railway building. There is also a cafe located in the 1865 bookings hall of Clare Railway Station.