The town of Haverhill dates back to the Iron Age, and the Romans settled the area too. The River Stour was once navigable inland as far as Wixoe. Haverhill had a market by the time of the Domesday book, and the Suffolk - Essex border once ran through the town.
During the later Middle Ages, Haverhill became a weaving town. It obtained a royal connection on January 27th 1541, when the parsonage, lands and right to appoint clergy were granted to Henry VIII’s divorced wife Anne of Cleves.
By 1620, Haverhill had become well known as a Puritan town. It produced many leading Puritan preachers. There were several emigrations to America, where Haverhill Massachusetts, was founded in 1640.
On June 14th 1667, most of Haverhill was destroyed by the "great fire" which started at the "Swan" and quickly spread up the High Street.
The population of the town in 1901 was around 4,000, and after the second world war the town council invited the GLC to develop it as an "overspill" community. In the 1950's the first estate, Parkway, was built, and others followed. Industrial estates were also started in the 1960s, but the railways were removed just as this plan was beginning to take shape. The town continues to grow, and now has a commuter population travelling into Cambridge in addition to those who work in Haverhill itself.