Brandeston is a peaceful, rural village situated in east Suffolk nestled in the Deben Valley. It is green and attractive, with parkland and water meadows leading down to the river. It's first known mention was in the Domesday Book, when it was in the fiefdom of one Edric the Grimm. The origin of the name may come from the Old Norse: brandr, meaning a kind of trade mark, and it is likely that the village was a crossing place which grew to become a market site, or a place where tolls were paid.
In the 14th century all of the villages to the south were wiped out by the plague, after which they were burnt, but Brandeston survived and still retains its old houses. The Black Prince - perhaps the most romantic figure in English history - used to hunt here and later, during the 17th century, the Witchfinder General terrified the populace. He accused the unfortunate vicar, John Lowes, of being in league with the devil and had him hanged. His death is still commemorated on the village sign and was featured in the cult film of 'The Witchfinder General', based on the Brandeston story.
In the 18th century Suffolk's most important business was smuggling, and Brandeston was close to the main route from Sizewell Gap to Hadleigh. The county's most famous smuggler and best loved romantic heroine, Margaret Catchpole, lived here with her uncle.
Much later in 1844 Brandeston Hall burned down, and Charles Austin, its owner, restored it as an exact replica. In 1948 the Society of Old Framlinghamians bought the hall as a living war memorial to commemorate the 234 boys and masters from Framlingham College who fell in the two world wars and it became the junior school.