Mendham & Withersdale

    Two English villages on the river Waveney on the Norfolk/Suffolk border

        One parish, two villages... bringing the community closer together






Facebook - Mendham Parish

Power cut? Simple... call 105

A new service that cuts through all the confusion and red tape when you have a power cut. More details here.


Land for building

Have a small patch of land that could be used for building? This is the last call for requests to be submitted before 26th August 2016.

Flower festival

The recent flower festival at All Saints in Mendham was a great success. Organised by Dawn Dawson, Kate Peacher with their teams of helpers and thanks to Peter Christian who took some pictures for us to enjoy.


Boules Piste notice

Here is a notice that is displayed next to the Boules Piste. It's some simple helpful rules to allow us all to enjoy the use of this great new facility. The contact for everything Boules is Kathy Ferrar 01379 852125


Please note that we want children to play Boules. However, there is a hard core base underneath the sand which we don't want to become exposed. Also, the sand is not washed 'play sand' and so is not suitable for children to 'play ' in.

Boules & Rounders!

Boules1      BoulesR 

Produce & Craft Market 2016

PCM1     PCM2


Fun Day - 2nd July 2016

Peter Andre

Queens birthday celebration - report

I must say, the Community Council do know how to do things well. There was bunting everywhere and the flowers were the appropriate colours. The hall was packed, about 120 people or so there, all having a buffet tea party. There was a huge cake, probably two foot by two foot (which is a funny way to talk about cake), with 'Happy Birthday Your Majesty' on it. There can’t be many times in a lifetime you write that on a cake!

There were films running of the last 90 years on a big screen and a woman came and played a small organ and everyone sang songs from the last 90 years. Then about 4pm we had the Royal toast. It is quite something to see 120 people stand as one, in a small village hall in the middle of Suffolk and toast a woman a 100 miles distant, whom they will probably never meet, who is unaware of their individual action. But it did bring a lump to the throat, and perhaps moistened the eye.

Celebration fit for a Queen!

Mendham and Withersdale celebrated in style on Sunday 12th June in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday. Committee members from various organisations in the parish, under the umbrella of the Mendham and Withersdale Community Council, organised a delicious afternoon tea complete with a glass of fizz and a birthday cake, which was cut by Pam Rhodes, a  senior resident of Withersdale.  Music over the past 90 years was played, local film footage from past and present was shown on the big screen, children bounced on a castle and played on the MUGA. After a rendition of the National Anthem played by Leighton on his cornet and a toast to the Queen, the residents made their way out onto the playing field where a village photograph was taken. A huge thank you to everyone who organised the event, provided and served tea and cakes, decorated the hall, played the music and helped to set up and clear away!

It was truly a lovely occasion where all the villagers came together to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. Well done to everyone involved. Lots more photos will be uploaded and available to order soon.



Anyone for Boules?


As reported in the Spring 2015 Parish Council newsletter, the Boules Piste at the Village Hall has been constructed and is now complete and ready to be played on. The Piste is available for all to use at all times. There will be a grand opening on Sunday 24th July 2016, full details to follow.

The word Ball in French is boule which in turn gives its name to the game Boules where, from a standing position, you cast small solid metal balls to get close to the little jack or piglet ball! It is a form of bowls played on rough ground. Petanque is a variation. In a recent poll in Six Sense, the people of Mendham parish decided that the prize money from the Village of the Year (£850) should be used to build a Boules piste. Well done everyone.

Don't know how to play? No matter, here are the instructions.

Grass cutting & weed killing

Grass Cutting

One thing that you can guarantee every year is that grass will grow. It will grow at a different rate, depending upon the amount of rain that falls and the hours of sunshine – and the weather in general. The challenge for every local authority is managing that growth in a sensible way.

Locally, the verges adjacent to roads and visibility splays at junctions in rural areas are cut by Suffolk Highways, in accordance with a predefined schedule.  The cutting heads on the tractors that are used cut to a standard 1.2metre width and this ‘single swathe cut’ adjacent to main carriageways is carried out on all of the roads on that schedule.

In addition, visibility splays at junctions are generally cut back to a distance of 3m from the give way or stop lines, although this may be extended in some cases due to the geometry of the junction’s layout. All grass is cut to a length of 75mm.

When will the grass be cut in my area?

Suffolk Highways will cut verges adjacent to the A-road and B-road network twice during the grass growing season. The first cut will begin on May 2nd and will take around two weeks to complete. The second cut will begin on 11th July and will take a further two weeks to complete.  The verges on C-roads and unclassified roads will receive a single cut beginning on 6th June and will take around six weeks to complete.

How will the grass be cut?

Suffolk Highways has mobilised a fleet of seven tractors which will be working throughout May, June and July to ensure the full programme of cutting is completed on time. The tractors will display the Suffolk Highways livery together with the relevant high visibility markings and beacons. Operatives are fully trained and competent in the use of the machinery, as well as being familiar with the requirements of traffic management whilst on the network.

How will the service be managed?

Suffolk Highways will maintain daily contact with its supply chain partners ensuring any variations to the programme of works are identified quickly and efficiently. Services will be monitored to ensure daily productivity rates are kept as high as possible and the overall operation runs smoothly and efficiently.

Where can I find out when the grass in my area will be cut?

A programme of works can be found on the county council’s website at www.suffolk.gov.uk/grasscutting

Weed Spraying

As gardeners everywhere know, weeds take the very slightest opportunity to grow anywhere. So, if there is any organic material in the channel of a road, decayed leaves between kerbs or pockets of soil in cracks in a footway, weeds will grow there!  

When will the weeds be treated in my area?

Weed treatments will be based upon two visits during the spring/summer season. However, an additional treatment may sometimes be necessary.  Suffolk Highways’ weed spraying programme started on Monday 18th April.

How are the weeds treated?

Weeds are treated by applying a low pressure herbicide spray with a hand-held lance.  Where possible, operatives will use a small all-terrain vehicle (quad bike) operated at a speed not exceeding 5 km/h. Footways and areas of restricted access will be treated on foot.

Where can I find out when the weeds in my area will be sprayed?

As with grass cutting, a programme of works can be found on the Suffolk Highways webpages on the county council’s website at www.suffolk.gov.uk/weed-control


Harleston & Waveney Art Trail (HWAT)


Welcome to the Harleston & Waveney Art Trail
We are a collective of professional artists who live and work in the picturesque Waveney Valley on the boundary of Norfolk and Suffolk. Each year, over two weekends, we open our art studios to the public.

HWAT 2016: ‘Open Studios’ Art Trail

Two Mendham Parish artists showing this year are Val Lindsell and Sue Laughlin

21 – 22 May 2016

28 – 30 May 2016 (including Bank Holiday Monday)

The artists studios will be open 11am to 6pm

Download the Harleston & Waveney Art Trail brochure 2016 [PDF 3mb].


Aldeburgh beach boats (batik on silk) by Caryl Challis

Latest News: Update on HWAT exhibitions & events in 2016

HWAT’s new book: Waveney Reflections: From Brockdish to Bungay, a Portrait of the River


All Saints concert - Four Voices


Brome Community Recycling Centre re-opens!

Mid-Suffolk District Council is pleased to announce that after a period of closure; Brome Community Recycling Centre will re-open on Monday 2nd May 2016, more details are included on the attached leaflet. If you have any questions or enquiries please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call 07857 662528 or have a look at this leaflet.

Car Boot Sale & Market

Saturday 14th May 2016, 9am - 1pm

Mendham & Withersdale Village Hall

All tables/stalls £5 and are limited so please book early!

For further information and to book, please call:

Steve  01379 586557

Becky  01379 586739

Jill  01379 852559

Planning applications - Public meeting

Public Meeting

Community Council AGM 2016

Wednesday 4th May is the date for the Mendham & Withersdale Community Council (CoCo) AGM, 7pm at Mendham and Withersdale village hall. Everyone is, of course, most welcome.


Mendham crowned 'Suffolk's Most Active Small Village 2015'

The parish of Mendham has been recognised for being the 'Most Active Small Village in Suffolk' for 2015. The award was revealed at a ceremony on Tuesday 15th March at the Eastern Enterprise Hub, Ipswich where an engraved brass plaque was received as a permanent recognition of the community's  achievements.

The village hall hosts many weekly classes including keep fit, PiYo, line dancing and TaiChi, and the MUGA (multi use games area) is available for family, school and club use for football, tennis, basketball and netball all year round, thanks to the floodlighting installed. The community also hosts an annual inter-village rounders competition and the Pub vs Parish cricket match. Other active groups include the Community Council, Friday Fun Club, Bell Ringers, Choir, WI, the Over-60's and Mendham School, pictured here with 'Most Active Village Plaque', having just completed a fundraising event in aid of Sport Relief on Friday 18th March.

It is such a great achievement to have won this award. There is such a lot going on in the parish and there really is something for everyone and it is right on the doorstep! You don't have to travel far to find a class or activity that is right for you. We are always trying to provide activities and facilities to suit every age group. The next project will be up and running soon. Work is due to start this month on the installation of a boules piste in the grounds of the village hall. A huge thank you to everyone who runs the weekly classes, puts on events, and supports events and activities. We couldn't do it without you.

BUT there is always room for more activities! What about some walking football on the MUGA? Or a dancing class at the hall? There may be funding available to set up a new class or activity! If you have an idea, do run with it! For more information please contact Tracey on 01379 852969 or Maddy Knox (Physical Activity Development Officer Suffolk Sport) on 07825 790832 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Annual Parish Meeting 2016


Old sales brochures, 1907 & 1938

On Wednesday 14th March 1907 Messers Sanford & Broom held an auction at the Magpie Inn, in Harleston for:

  1. Mendham Priory Farm (277 acres)
  2. Gentleman's residence, dwelling, entrance lodge and gardens
  3. Top Farm (140 acres)
  4. 3 cottages in Metfield

The following pictures are of the sale brochures which are actually photocopies hence the quality is not high but they are very readable. The images are not presented in order (it's the 'quick' system we use on the website to display a group of images) so just browse through them. Of special interest are the images of the maps of the Priory area and Top Farm (today known as Highfields at the top of Foxes Lane) and the field names given for Priory  and Lower Farms in Withersdale and Top Farm in Mendham. It would be a nice project one day to list all of the field names in Mendham parish from around the turn of the century.

 This is the introduction page for the 1907 sale (lots 1-4):


This is Lot 1 which is Priory Farm which is the land the river side of Withersdale Street shown in blue on the map on one of the images. The farm buildings are on the second corner as you go out of Withersdale towards Harleston. The main farmhouse is today 2 properties and the old farm buildings in the corner were converted a few years ago into another dwelling. The full size image is quite large and on a large monitor you will see a lot of dail. The field numbers link to the table of field names.

An interesting item on the plan is on the Weybread road out of Mendham just at the border of the parishes. We have seen on old maps that there is a rectangle marked 'Hulks Grave' and as of yet, we don't know what it is. On this plan there is a building but slightly to the south of where the grave site is and it's labelled as number 427. On the list of fields names that number is referred to as 'Hulks Grave Cottages' although there is no depiction of Hulks Grave. This could give us a 'latest date' for Hulks Grave, 1907. Hulks grave is labelled on older maps in field 426 (shown as '9 acres') just the other side of the road from the number 69 on the plan.


Lot 2 is the house itself descibed as a 'Gentlemans residence' with entrance Lodge and gardens. Today the house is known as Mendham Priory but is nothing to do with the priory. The stoneward shown in the west wall of the garden which is visible from the oad near bluebell wood today, was 'removed' from the derelict priory which happens to be an scheduled ancient monument, even today!


Lots 3 & 4 are Top Farm (Highfields) and 3 cottages in Metfield situated on the left just before you get t the Chriustmas Lane junction. Again, field names are in the documents and correspond to the numbers on the map.


At a separate sale 31 years later by by George Durrant and Sons, again in the Magpie, on Wednesday 29th June 1938 we see the details of Lower Farm in Withersdale near Priory Farm on the river side of The Street.


Events at All Saints, Mendham

Forthcoming events organised by All Saints Church, Mendham some in support of their extension project:

Friday 1st April Fashion Show with the Artichoke Collection, Wortwell Community Centre (proceeds to All Saints’ building fund)
Saturday 28th May Four Voices Concert at All Saints’, Mendham (proceeds to All Saints’ building fund)
2nd and 3rd July Summer Luncheon with a Flower Festival at All Saints’ Mendham (proceeds to All Saints’ building fund)
Saturday 10th September

Hymnathon with Café at All Saints’ Church (to coincide with Historic Churches Bike Ride)

Evening talk by Mary Moore ‘Forty Years at the Forge’ (proceeds to All Saints’ building fund)

Saturday 26th November      Christmas Market and Café at All Saints’ Mendham (proceeds to All Saints’ building fund)


Events pre-2009


Picture gallery menu tree

Picture gallery statIstics

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Withersdale tiles


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