From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
St Mary the Virgin Lakenheath.JPG
Church of St Mary the Virgin
Grid reference: TL715825
Location: 52°24’49"N, 0°31’21"E
Population: 4,691
Post town: Brandon
Postcode: IP27
Dialling code: 01842
Local Government
Council: West Suffolk

Lakenheath is a village in north-western Suffolk, a place of around 4,500 residents, close to the county boundaries of both Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, and at the meeting point of the fenland and the Breckland natural environments.

At Lakenheath is the largest American airbase in the United Kingdom, RAF Lakenheath.

The village has a single Victorian primary school, built in 1878, which was extended in 1969, again in 2004 and most recently in 2010/2011.[1] There is a small shopping street, with a grocery store, one newsagents, an optician's shop, a Chinese takeaway, a Chinese restaurant, Two fish and chip shops, an Indian restaurant and Filipino restaurant. Also two Tattoo places, two nail bars, one sun tan bar, and a Sandwich shop. The town has a library with internet access. Along this stretch of road a small skate park, a playing field and a children's play park can also be found.


The parish church is St Mary The Virgin a fine mediæval church, built in the local flint construction style. It contains mediæval paintings and mediæval carving on the pews.[2] The faces of the church's wooden angels bear the scars of the Civil War; none retains its original facial detail, scoured off in the iconoclasm of the puritan age. The walls reveal rare mediæval wall paintings, depicting Suffolk's local saint, St Edmund, angels, and birds amongst other subjects. The paintings are believed to date from the 13th century.[3]

  • Church of England:
  • Baptist (Strict Baptist)
  • Methodist
  • Pentecostal (Assemblies of God)

About the village

Lakenheath has two pubs though historically it had at least sixteen more. The Plough Inn (also known as the Wok n Rock) is a spacious flint faced 19th-century bar, Far Eastern restaurant and takeaway. It reopened at the end of 2013 after being closed for two years.[4] The other pub is the Brewer's Tap. The Royal British Legion was a members only club, but closed in April 2012.[5]

Lakenheath Fen Nature Reserve is an RSPB reserve nearby. It was created in 1996 by flooding agricultural fields (that had been growing carrots) to produce a restored wetland habitat. In May 2007, it was reported that cranes were nesting in the site for the first time since the fen lands were drained in the 16th century.[6]

Lakenheath railway station is three miles away from the village.

RAF Lakenheath

F-15C Eagle taxis for takeoff

Lakenheath is host to the largest deployment of United States Air Force personnel in the United Kingdom: RAF Lakenheath. The social impact of the United States Air Force fighter airbase and its nearby sister, RAF Mildenhall, on the economy of Lakenheath and on the nearby towns and villages is important. The United States has maintained a presence in the community since bombers were stationed there during the Second World War, conducting raids on Europe. The base has a population of around 6,000 service personnel.

Prehistory and archeology

During the Ice Age, the River Bytham flowed through the area that is now Lakenheath, depositing much of the modern geology found in the area.[7]

Excavation of three early Anglo Saxon cemeteries at RAF Lakenheath between 1997 and 2002 uncovered a total of 394 inhumation and 17 cremation burials, including one 6th-century grave with a horse burial: a man was buried next to a fully armored horse.[8]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Lakenheath)