St Peter and St Paul Church, Hoxne
Hoxne was a centre of religious activity more than one thousand years ago.
Theodred, the Bishop of London who revived Christianity in East Anglia after the Danish invasion of the ninth century, referred to Hoxne in his will.
But the church he mentions was not dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul (as is the church we use today) or to Saint Edmund, the East Anglia king and martyr, whose name has long links with this village and to whom two chapels in Hoxne were dedicated in medieval times.
Theodred speaks of Saint Ethelbert’s church and God’s household in Hoxne. Saint Ethelbert was an East Anglian king slain in Hereford in 749AD, some 70 to 80 years before the martyrdom of Edmund. Theodred also gives “orders that at Hoxne at my Bishopric men deal out ten pounds for my soul and I will that men take the goods that stand at Hoxne with that which I have gotten thereto and deal it into two halves, one for the Minister and the other for my soul”. So it appears that Hoxne was an Episcopal seat for Theodred and in his time a Minster stood here.
The Domesday Book, complied (sic) some 100 years after the time of Theodred, mentions Hoxne as “the seat of the Bishopric in Suffolk in the time of Edward the Confessor”. Edward was king from 1042 to 1066. The Bishops of Norwich had a Manor House here up to 1535 when Henry V111 dissolved the monasteries, the house then being given to the Southwell family. It is believed that the Bishop’s House stood on the site where Hoxne Hall was established by the Maynards and then renamed Oakley Park by the Kerrison Family. The house was demolished in the 1920’s.