Royal Air Force Halesworth or more simply RAF Halesworth is a former Royal Air Force station located 7 miles (11 km) west of Southwold, Suffolk, England.

For more information and ideas on things to do in and around Halesworth and the Blyth Valley visit

Between January and June in 1945 the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron operated from the base flying war weary P47s and B17s. Their mission was to carry dinghies and smoke markers to aid downed crews found at sea.

Number 14 is thought to have been the early home of George Lansbury – leader of the Labour Party from 1931 to 1935. His granddaughter is the well-known actress Angela Lansbury.

Halesworth in the time of William Hooker, Gentleman Brewer: January to March Times in the industry were hard when William was brewing in Halesworth. Despite this, he had many other interests, including illustrating a book on botany. This exhibition looks at Halesworth between 1809 and 1821.

A statue of the Madonna and Child in the Lady chapel was fashioned from driftwood by Peter Eugene Ball.

The shops in Halesworth are a treat! Shopping like it used to be. A good range of shops, many independently owned, selling everyday items plus local meats, food and produce, clothing, stationery, gifts, wholefoods, home brew items, electricals, antiques, fruit and veg, books, carpets. Professional services are here too - opticians, solicitors, dentists and more - and plenty of opportunities for a sit down and refreshments.

Quay Street takes its name from the original town quay. In the middle of the 18th century the river was made navigable from Halesworth to Southwold. A new brick lock was made at Halesworth and new cuts were dug. The first keel arrived from Southwold in 1761, laden with coal, shortening the journey of the cargo considerably. Part of the old navigation can be seen in the Town Park.[citation needed]

There are fine examples of 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century buildings in the Thoroughfare.

1888 – the moveable platform is installed (renewed in 1922 and restored in 1999) This ingenious device is one of only a handful in the UK. As trains became longer they needed longer platforms. This device allowed the platforms to be extended across the adjacent level crossing. The moveable platform sections could be swung to one side to open the road for traffic.

There has probably been a church on the site of St Mary's, since Saxon times. Halesworth is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 recording Ulf the priest to be in charge of the parish.

Central to the town is Thoroughfare, once the busy sole route through the town but now by-passed and pedestrianised so it is a pleasure to stroll along, look in the shops and then from the bridge watch the antics of the ducks on the Town River. Thoroughfare leads to the Market Place where more lovely old buildings stand. St.Mary’s Church and the old almshouses lie beyond.

After the war, the Halesworth was closed for flying in February 1946. It was turned over to the Ministry of Food for storage until it was sold in 1963.

When you visit Halesworth make sure you visit the Museum, housed in our Victorian Railway Station. For more than twenty years volunteers have been collecting and researching the history and archaeology of this fascinating corner of Suffolk. Spend some time with the displays which will take you across 10,000 years, from the earliest settlers in the Blyth Valley to the busy hub of malting, brewing and agriculture which was the town in Victorian times.

The Museum will be shut over the Christmas and New Year breaks. We shut about two weeks before Christmas and open about two weeks after New Years Day.

The Blyth Valley is a truly magical place; perfect to explore by foot or on wheels at any time of year. From its source 17 miles inland, the gentle Blyth meanders through delightful villages, handsome market towns and quintessential Suffolk countryside before merging with the sea at Southwold and Walberswick. You can find out more about this beautiful area, what there is to do and see here with The Blyth Valley Experience.

Group visits are welcomed but must be pre-arranged with the Curator. please email us with your requirements.

Halesworth was built in 1942–1943 and was intended for use as a bomber station, and was built as such with a 6,000 ft. main runway and two secondary runways of 4,200 ft length. There was an encircling perimeter track with 51 hardstands and two T-2 hangars. Nissen hut accommodations for about 3,000 personnel were also built south of the airfield.

The defined area of the Museum is the town of Halesworth and the villages and hamlets of its hinterland that have historically looked towards Halesworth as the nearest market town; the villages and hamlets being Spexhall, Wissett, Rumburgh, Chediston, Linstead Magna, Linstead Parva, Huntingfield, Cookley, Walpole, Bramfield, Thorington, Blythburgh, Henham, Bulcamp, Sotherton, Westhall, Holton, Blyford and Wenhaston.

The Thoroughfare, Halesworth, IP19 8BF - Pay and Display

Great cafe culture exists in Halesworth with the likes of Tilly's, Cafe Frapa, Pinky's Cafe not to mention restaurants making good use of all the wonderful local produce like Cleone's at The Angel, Edwards and delicious Thai and Indian food at Sing tong Neeyom Thai and the Raj Put Restaurant. If you want treats to take home don't miss Focus Organic where you can have a lovely coffee too!

21 April Peter Warner: ‘From the Blyth to the Waveney’: How our parishes emerged

The 489th flew the Consolidated B-24 Liberator as part of the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing campaign. The group entered combat on 30 May 1944, and during the next few days concentrated on targets in France in preparation for the Normandy invasion.

Being in the Station, there is a special emphasis on the railway, with its unique moveable platforms. Come and see how they worked and learn about the history of the two historic railway lines in Halesworth. In the Study Corner, there is research material for anyone interested in exploring local social or family history in the area, collections of historical photographs and much more for you to peruse at your leisure.

Note . . . . . If you are planning to visit the Museum for a specific purpose, for example to research your family history, it will be best to contact us first to ensure that the best volunteer is available.

Halesworth is primarily centred on a pedestrianised, shopping street known as the Thoroughfare. "Thoroughfare" is an East Anglian term for the main street of a town – what would be commonly known elsewhere in the UK as the "high street". Each year the Thoroughfare hosts a popular food, drink and craft fair, termed the "Thoroughfair", to raise money for good causes.

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Number 8 is a former ironmonger's. This shop belonged to the grandfather of Sir David Frost and the name of William Frost can still be seen underneath the archway next to the shop. The Thoroughfare is home to many specialist shops and cafes as well as playing host to events throughout the year.

A Halesworth bank used to issue its own banknotes. A 5 guinea banknote (£5.25), issued by the Suffolk and Halesworth Bank in 1799, has recently been recovered.[citation needed]

East Anglia is renowned for its big open skies and mild and dry climate. This makes a stay here very pleasant. The surrounding area is popular with walkers, bird-watchers and cyclists. For a holiday or short break our advertisers offer accommodation on a self-catering, hotel or bed and breakfast basis where you will be most welcome.

Halesworth is a market town in north east Suffolk, about ten miles inland from the Suffolk Heritage Coast, in a lovely area good to live in or to visit at any time of year.


There are historical records of some 30 pubs in Halesworth.[4]

As an alternative to paying for membership online, you may download and print the Membership form here, and send it by post.

St Mary's is part of the Blyth Valley Team Ministry of eleven parishes.[citation needed]

Halesworth has the largest Millennium Green in the UK with around 44 acres (18 ha) of grazing marsh providing a haven for wildlife close to the town centre. The rivers in this area are home to herons, kingfishers and otters.

Halesworth is a town that prides itself on offering shopping like it used to be. The town is centred around the Thoroughfare, a pedestrianised area where many buildings date back to the sixteenth century.

We will use the starred location to give you relevant local information across the BBC.

2 July 8th In The East – Oral History Day: Memories of Americans in Halesworth during WW2 The Rifle Hall, London Road IP19 8LW

From London, take the A12 north and turn onto the A144 just north of Darsham.

In January 1945 the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron moved to Halesworth from RAF Boxted with special P-47s, OA-10 Catalina amphibians and Boeing SB-17 Fortresses equipped with lifeboats for air-sea rescue work. The 5th ERS remained active, and it conducted many rescues until the end of hostilities.