Mildenhall, Suffolk

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Mildenhall - Church of St Mary.jpg
St Mary's Church, Mildenhall
Mildenhall is located in Suffolk
Mildenhall shown within Suffolk
Population 10,315 (2011)[1]
OS grid reference TL710748
• London 75 mi (121 km)
Civil parish
  • Mildenhall
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district IP28
Dialling code 01638
Police Suffolk
Fire Suffolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°20′41″N 0°30′32″E / 52.34461°N 0.50890°E / 52.34461; 0.50890Coordinates: 52°20′41″N 0°30′32″E / 52.34461°N 0.50890°E / 52.34461; 0.50890

Mildenhall is a small market town and civil parish in Suffolk, England. It is part of the non-metropolitan district of Forest Heath and has a population of 9,906 people, increasing to 10,315 at the 2011 Census. The town is near the A11 and is located 60 km (37 mi) north-west of county town, Ipswich.[2] 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.

Signpost in Mildenhall

The town[edit]

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. In 1934, Mildenhall was the start point of the MacRobertson Air Race to Melbourne, Australia. Mildenhall has its own radio station, 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. The station format is classic and current hits plus specialist shows, and broadcasts 24 hours a day with a mix of music, news and information[3] 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

In 2017, Mildenhall was the topic of a song by US-based band, the Shins, on their album Heartworms. Lead singer, James Mercer's father was based at RAF Mildenhall during Mercer's youth.

Due to the airbase, Mildenhall currently has the highest concentration of American residents in the country, as 18% of residents were born in the US.[4]


The town has a bus station which was completed in 2005. 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.[citation needed]


Mildenhall has three schools: two primary schools, St. Mary's and Great Heath and one secondary school, Mildenhall College Academy, the secondary school also contains a sixth form.

Sport & leisure[edit]

Mildenhall has a Non-League football club Mildenhall Town F.C. who play at Recreation Way.

It also has one of the East of England's leading cricket clubs, Mildenhall Cricket Club, playing at Wamil Way; in 2016 the 1XI won the Two Counties Championship and was promoted to the East Anglian Premier Cricket League. Notable former players include England internationals Tymal Mills and Tom Westley and Essex Women's Lilly Reynolds.

The Mildenhall Cycling Club located next to the cricket ground, and has famous previous members such as Victoria Pendleton.

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

The river Lark runs through the town and there is a 19 acre open space adjoining it - the Jubilee Fields. .


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.[5][6] 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. Entrance is free, opening times vary throughout the year,[7] 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.[8]


  1. ^ "Neighbourhood Statistics - Parish Headcounts". Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey (2006). OS Explorer Map 226 - Ely & Newmarket. ISBN 0-319-21857-0.
  3. ^ Brookes, Geoff. "Robert Everett DSO". Stories in Welsh Stone. Archived from the original on 2010-11-15. Retrieved 29 Oct 2009. 
  4. ^ "Born abroad: USA". BBC News. 2005-09-07. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  5. ^ "The Mildenhall Treasure". Mildenhall Museum. Archived from the original on May 2, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2006. 
  6. ^ Dahl, Roald (1995). The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (5th ed.). London: Penguin Group. p. 215. ISBN 0-14-037348-9. 
  7. ^ "The Mildenhall Museum". Mildenhall and District Museum. Mildenhall Museum. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  8. ^ 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.

External links[edit]