Claydon is a parish and large village, on the Gipping a tributary of the River Orwell, 73 miles from London and 4 miles north of Ipswich.
The Church of St Peter (map), with a register dating from 1660, became redundant in 1975.
The parish now shares worship with the neighbouring parish of Barham, Claydon and Barham had been one benefice since the 1930’s.
The Madonna and Child, a fine early sculpture by Henry Moore and the memorial to those from Claydon who did not return from World War II, was relocated from Claydon to Barham Church (map).
Formally there was a Congregational Chapel in the village now disused. Until 31 December 2007 the Old Chapel was an Ecumenical Centre for community use and managed by a committee it has now, in 2008, been sold and is used as a pharmacy. Claydon Christian Fellowship for several years held their Sunday Services in Claydon and Barham Village Hall.
The Village Hall was handed over to the parishioners of Claydon and Barham in the 1950’s; formally it was Claydon Institute and the property of Claydon Church.
Until the middle of last century there were limekilns, some chalk pits and a whiting manufactory. The site of one limekiln became world famous for its collection of roses put together by a former owner, Humphrey Brooke.
Claydon Hall is built on the site of an ancient castle; part of the moat still remains. Mock Beggars Hall, known as the Old Hall in the late 1800’s, is an Elizabethan mansion built for the Aylmer family in 1621, and the letters I.A. with the date 1621 appear on the upper part of the house.
The population in 1891 was 541, by 1921 this was 613, and in 2007 the number of electors was 1746 living in 907 properties.
In the 1930’s a new Secondary School was built in Claydon Church Lane (map), prior to this children, of all ages were educated at the Station Road School, built in 1880. In 1969 a new Primary School was built in Lancaster Way and St Peter’s Court now occupies the site of the Station Road School.
To enable St Peters Court to be built the former Claydon Recreation Ground, given to the people of Claydon by the De Saumarez family, was sold. The money was used to purchase Claydon’s current Recreation Ground in Thornhill Road (map).
The adjoining parish of Barham was described in the 1880's as a widely scattered village, the Church of St. Mary, with a register dating from 1538 originally included the parishioners of Barham Green within its parish.
However, in 1929 the area of Barham Green was transferred to Henley and the combined living was formed for Claydon and Barham dedicated to St. Mary and St. Peter in the 1970's. Originally the tower boasted four working bells; since its refurbishment, completed in 2004, only one bell is operational and was first used for midnight mass at Christmas 2004.
Much of the Shrubland estate with it's well known Hall and Gardens is within Barham parish while other well-known buildings include Barham Hall and Barham Manor. Until the 1950's Barham had it's own school, set up by Lady de Saumarez, for 60 pupils and run as a Church School. In the 19th and early 20th century there was also a Workhouse and Isolation hospital located in the area of and around the existing Picnic Site. The fascinating history of the workhouse, which housed nearly 500! people, is described here.
Barham's population in 1891 was 373, which had risen to 1,377 in 2001, a rise of over 369%.