Dalham is a small, picturesque village in west Suffolk between Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket with a population of approximately 210 people. Situated on the banks of the river Kennett, Dalham is surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside with a good choice of walks in and around Dalham and neighbouring villages.

Although small, Dalham has a number of facilities including the Village Hall, which schedules regular community events and classes, the local pub (Affleck Arms) and a magnificent fourteenth-century church (St Mary the Virgin) which continues to be a focal point for the village.  It also has a historic windmill and malting kiln.

The village is in a Conservation Area. This means that it is an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.  Accordingly, there are some extra planning controls and considerations in place to protect the historic and architectural elements which make the village and surrounds such a special place.

Within the village there are many traditional thatch cottages, built as early as the 15th century.  A number of these cottages are listed buildings.  You can look up these buildings on the National Heritage List for England.

A short overview of key points of interest are provided below.  Various photographs from around the Village can also be found in the Gallery.

A view of the village from the Old Suffolk Road

Dalham nestles in a valley and follows the banks of the River Kennett, which flows from south to north. The village being one of the finest examples of a linear settlement in the county of Suffolk is in a conservation area and evolved as part of the estate of Dalham Hall. The parish church of St. Mary's is set above the village, to the east and adjacent to Dalham Hall from where there are fine views.

A newly thatched cottage in Dalham

Many of the properties in the village are listed, some dating from 15th century, and with a very high proportion of thatched cottages with limewashed or brick and flint walls, converted farm buildinga with terracotta tiles, provides a very attractive street-scene. Properties rarely come on the market and when they do are usually quickly snapped up.

The village is also surrounded by ancient woods and farmland which has been worked for hundreds of years. The area is criss-crossed by footpaths and tracks which provide wonderful walks, along riverbanks, through medieval woodland and beside open cultivated arable land. There are many attractive scenes and wonderful views to be enjoyed especially from the higher ground on each side of the valley and down in the valley itself.

The Affleck Arms

The Affleck Arms is on Brookside.  A sixteenth century Elizabethan thatched pub, popular with villagers and weekend walkers (limited mid week opening hours). 

There is a carpark to the rear.  The garden patio at the back and the front garden overlooking the river Kennet also provide space for outdoor drinking on sunny days. 

There are walks using ancient paths connecting Dalham with many attractive surrounding villages. A recommended walk which can begin in Dalham is known as the circular 'Three Churches Walk,' which is well signposted and also encompasses the adjacent attractive villages of Moulton and Gazeley, passing their respective parish churches en route and forming part of the Icknield Way. There are also village public houses in each village where refreshment can be obtained.

Malt Kiln

Once a common sight across Suffolk, malting kilns such as Dalham’s are now only to be found at two locations in this county. 

There is detailed summary of the malting kiln and the history of malting processes available here.

From the north end of 'The Street' opposite the Malt Kiln is a pretty yew lined hollow lane which is signposted 'The Church'.

Church of St. Mary's

Church Lane takes you up past 'The Old Rectory' and at the top of the lane turn left and on towards the Church of St Mary the Virgin from where there are wonderful views towards the west. The Horse-Chestnut Avenue which falls away from you can be accessed by an iron kissing gate.  The Avenue lines a public footpath, protected by an Act of Parliament for villagers to access the church. See the notice on the left-hand fence at the end of the path as you go through the wooden kissing gate to rejoin the Gazeley Road.

More information about the village can be found on the Dalham Village website at www.dalham.com.