Mildenhall, Suffolk

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Mildenhall - Church of St Mary.jpg
Mildenhall, Church of St Mary
Grid reference: TL710748
Location: 52°20’41"N, 0°30’32"E
Population: 9,906  (2001)
Post town: Bury St Edmunds
Postcode: IP28
Dialling code: 01638
Local Government
Council: West Suffolk
West Suffolk
Website: Town Council

Mildenhall is a small market town in Suffolk, near the A11, the old Roman route which cuts in an arrow-straight line to Norwich. The large Royal Air Force base, RAF Mildenhall as well as RAF Lakenheath, are located north of the town. The former is used by the United States Air Force, as the headquarters of its 100th Air Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Group.

The town

Signpost in Mildenhall

Mildenhall centres on a market place with a 16th-century hexagonal market cross and town pump. The town's market is held here on every Friday and originated as a weekly chartered market in, it is believed, the 15th century.

The Mildenhall Museum in the centre of the town contains displays of local history and wildlife, the history of the RAF base, and information on the Mildenhall Treasure. In 1934, Mildenhall was the start point of the MacRobertson Air Race to Melbourne, in Australia.

Due to the airbase, Mildenhall currently has the highest concentration of American residents in the country; 18% of residents were born in the United States.[1]


Mildenhall is perhaps most famous for the discovery in 1942 of the Mildenhall Treasure. Now at the British Museum, the treasure is a hoard of Roman silver objects buried in the 4th century. In 1946 the discovery was made public and the treasure acquired by the British Museum; Roald Dahl wrote an article about the find which was published firstly in the Saturday Evening Post, and later as "The Mildenhall Treasure" (a short story) in his short story collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.[2][3]

The region between Devil's Dyke and the line between Littleport and Shippea Hill shows a remarkable amount of archaeological findings of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.[4]


The town has a bus station which was completed in 2005 and regular bus services run to the neighbouring towns of Brandon, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Thetford. National Express operate daily coach services to Norwich, London (Victoria Coach Station), Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports.

Mildenhall railway station was the terminus of the Cambridge to Mildenhall railway until its closure in 1962.

Sport & Leisure

  • Football: Mildenhall Town FC

There is a leisure centre on Bury Road which is about 5–10 minutes away from the Town Square.


  • Radio: ZACK FM (Forest Heath Public Radio), broadcasting on 105.3 FM; the transmitter is located at the top of St Mary's church and radiates 100 W.[5]

Mildenhall is mentioned in passing in the Pink Floyd song 'Let There Be More Light' on the 1968 album A Saucerful of Secrets as a speculated location for first contact between humanity and extraterrestrial life:

Then at last, the mighty ship
Descending on a point of flame
Made contact with the human race at Mildenhall

Outside links


  1. "Born abroad: USA". BBC News. 2005-09-07. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  2. "The Mildenhall Treasure". Mildenhall Museum. Archived from the original on May 2, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2006. 
  3. Dahl, Roald (1995). The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (5th edition ed.). London: Penguin Group. pp. 215. ISBN 0-14-037348-9. 
  4. Hall, David (1994). Fenland survey : an essay in landscape and persistence / David Hall and John Coles. London; English Heritage. ISBN 1-85074-477-7. , pp. 81-88.
  5. Brookes, Geoff. "Robert Everett DSO". Stories in Welsh Stone. Retrieved 29 Oct 2009.