Suffolk Publications

All publications listed below can be purchased direct from me. Please find my address on the Contact Us page. If paying by cheque please make payable to 'Ray Whitehand'. Please note we only accept Pound Sterling. If you require international postage please email us first.


A Victorian Place of Learning

A Victorian Place of Learning

Early Education at Wickham Market

Did your parents or grand parents grow up in the Wickham Market area? or did one of your family train as a pupil teacher at this National school, situated on the main road as you enter Wickham Market from Pettistree?

Using original material and former pupil’s memories this volume tells the story of this Victorian building.

Learn how the building evolved from its initial creation in 1841 to its closure in 1934.

Read the first-hand account of former pupil Inez Benham and her teacher Aunt. Miss Nora Johnson

How children from the local workhouse were taught at this school.

Playground games and local productions laid on at the school.

Discover connections the author’s family had with the school

The volume is available from ‘Old School Antiques’ trading in the Old School, or direct from the author, or by clicking the button below:

Cost: £7.95 (plus £2 towards postage and packing




Hadleigh used its former guild hall as a workhouse for its own deserved poor from the 1570s until the demise of these parish workhouses following the 1834 Act.
This volume tells the story of those years with particular emphasis on the men who ran the establishment
After a detailed account of the first few decades, and the identity of the early governors of the house; the 17th century is summarised [through a lack of surviving records]. As we move into the second half of the 18th century more material is available. Full detail is included of a contract of new governor Robert Tyler, together with a full inventory of the contents of the house at the time.  
Another major find we learn of is a set of the rules and regulations of Hadleigh workhouse. This states that ½ hour was allowed for breakfast, an hour for dinner and ½ hour for supper, which was taken at seven.
The book finishes with the sale of the goods and chattles of the workhouse, which included the materials and equipment used in the sack manufactory carried out in the house.

(can be used as a supplement to the best seller AT THE OVERSEERS DOOR)

CHIEF INHABITANTS and VESTRIES is another self-publication. It retails at £4.95, and can be purchased from The Idler at The High Street, Hadleigh or direct from 112 St Mary's Close, Trimley St Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk. IP11 0TY. Please add £2 towards post & package.




The story of nearly 400 years of caring for Pettistree’s poor.
From the 1570s until the closure of the poor law in 1930  Ray takes the reader through the maze of parish relief dealt  on the poor of Pettistree.
From the earliest references of parish relief, through the creation of the incorporations, followed by the blanket coverage of Unification of the county. Culminating in the poor being passed from one workhouse to another in the final years of the existence of ‘The Workhouse’. 
With plenty of pauper stories to bring the story to life
r.r.p.  £3.95 plus £1 towards postage



St. Peter and St Paul, Pettistree, Church Guide

My 5th publication is a history come guide book for St Peter & St Paul, Pettistree.
Compiled with significant help and advice from Roy Tricker, the 19 page A5 volume is laid out in a guide format which takes the reader first round the exterior then the interior of this 13th century church. It lays out the history of the church from its earliest reference of 1264 when it took over as the local church following the demise of neighbouring parishes of Byng & Loudham. The volume gives the location and description of the rectory which once stood in what is now the extended churchyard.
Surviving evidence or sources of information are all identified, be it in the structure of the building or in writings by named antiquarians such as Tillotson, Morley, and David Elisha Davy, some dating from the 16th century.

The volume is available in the church or by post direct from me for £3.95 plus £1 towards postage




Learn about all known Suffolk's workhouses. 209 parish workhouses, 13 Incorporations, and 19 Unions.

How many parishes ran their own parish workhouse. When the incorporations with their Houses of Industry operated. Identify which of the Union Houses (Alias The Spike), covered your parish. With plans and maps to highlight the coverage of each Union. 

All this and much more crammed into 50 pages of A5 booklet.

Priced at £7.50 plus £2.00 postage and packaging


At The Overseers Door

At The Overseers Door

The story of Suffolk’s Parish Workhouses

This book tells the story of the Suffolk’s parish workhouses, from their introduction in the mid Elizabethan period until the advent of the New Poor Law Act in 1834, which initiate those cumbersome Union Workhouses.

Considering the age and size of these relatively diminutive former  ‘Houses of Industry’ it is surprising just how many still survive, from small labourer’s cottages such as at Badingham and Snape, to the medieval guild halls of Hadleigh and Pakenham. They stand as a legacy to a time long ago.  and a quality of life far removed from that of their 21st century residents.   

The book is divided into nine chapters including ones on Acquisition, Management and Inmates. The final one giving a brief account of the 179 parish workhouse thus far identified to have existed in Suffolk: from Barrow to Beccles; Cavendish to Chillesford; and Snape to Stowmarket.  

Location maps in the front and back chart the spread of these parish workhouses around the county. There is a reference and source section which allows anyone interested in a particular parish to delve deeper. 

This is an enthralling read for anyone interested in this little known portion of Suffolk’s rich local history.  

Printed by Lavenham Press, The book has an A5 sized soft cover with 96 pages of text (30,000 words), together with sketches, maps and illustrations throughout.

Priced at £9.95 plus £2.00 postage and packaging



From Potash to Pear Trees

A Chronicle of  Potash Cottages, Pettistree.  

This book is a narrative of the life of one of Suffolk’s many rural cottages which help to form the tapestry of the landscape around the county, and the methods of research used to source the information.

No 2 Potash cottages, Pettistree was a labourer's cottage, occupied by the author's family from 1944 to the end of the century. formerly built to house employers of the local potash factory.  It  began its life sometime in the mid 18th century. 

The volume then details the evolvement of the property and its owners throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Things are brought up to date with the memories and experiences of the author of life in the village and its surroundings in the second half of the twentieth century. 

Throughout the volume the sources used are identified, which makes this a valuable read for anyone with interests in Pettistree or those thinking about researching their own home.  

Priced at £7.95 plus £2.00 postage and packaging



Suffolk Workhouses

A Catologue of Sources

4th edition

[now expanded to 80 pages]

Ideal for the student or local historian, this volume is a compilation of identified primary and secondary source material, for the three types of workhouses in Suffolk, mostly held at one of the three branches of Suffolk's record offices.

Contents include: Time line of Suffolk's workhouses, revised parish workhouse list (now 202) a listings of all identified workhouses in the county arranged by type and parish. location of relevant statute and local acts relating to workhouses,

It also identifies available plans of workhouses, together with their location. The main catalogue lists sources, summery of content, date, and identification codes. Contents include original documents, newspaper articles, plus relevant books and publications.

This is an 80 page, A4 size, wire ring bound edition.

 Priced at £12.00 plus £2 p&p



Suffolk Workhouses

The Story of Ipswich’s workhouses

Using material principally sourced from primary material, Four Tenements and a Hay House chronicle the story of 400 years of workhouses in the county town of Ipswich. From Christ Hospital, (the first workhouse in the county), in operation by 1574, through the multifunction establishments of the 17th century, to the introduction of parochial workhouses in each of the town’s twelve parishes at the start of the 18th century. The story then moves on to the first Union House in Whip Street, built c1836, and it’s replacement Heathfield’s opened in 1899, which within ten years became a respite for the poor of neighbouring unions before it’s own closure on 1st April 1930.

Printed by Printing for Pleasure, Chattisham

Priced at £7.95 plus £2 p&p