Suffolk Parish Records Survey

Taken, I believe, in the mid 1980's

1-5Parish, Hundred, Area, Soils, Types of farming
6-8Enclosure, Settlement, Communications
9-10Population, Benefice
11-12Church, Nonconformity
13-17Manorial, Market/Fairs, Real property, Land ownership, Resident gentry
18-19Occupations, Education
20-22Poor relief, Charities, Other Institutions
23-25Recreation, Personal, Other information (incl. archaeological)

1.Parish: ELMSWELL
Meaning: Spring/stream where elms grew (EKWALL)
County: Suffolk
2.Hundred: BLACKBOURN
Deanery: Blackburn ( -1884), Thedwastre (1884-1972), Lavenham (1972- )
Union: Stow
RDC/UDC: (W. Suffolk) Thedwastre RD - 1974, Mid Suffolk DC 1974 -
Other administrative details:
Blackbourn Petty Sessional Division
Stowmarket County Court District
3.Area: 2,089 acres (1912)
4.Soils: Mixed: a) Slowly permeable seasonally waterlogged fine loam over clay
b) Slowly permeable calcareous/non calcareous clay soils, slight risk water erosion
c) Fine loam over clay soils, slowly permeable subsoils, slight seasonal waterlogging. Some calcareous/non calcareous slowly permeable clay soils
5.Types of farming:
10869 acres meadow, wood for 80 pigs, 3 cobs, 5 cattle, 15 pigs, 18 sheep, 48 goats
1283245 quarters to crops (1,960 bushels), 31 head horse, 104 cattle, 85 pigs, 207 sheep*
1500-1640. .THIRSK:Wood-pasture region, mainly pasture, meadow, engaged in rearing and dairying with some pig-keeping, horse-breeding and poultry. Crops mainly barley with some wheat, rye, oats, peas, vetches, hops and occasionally hemp.
1815. . .MARSHALL:Course of crops varies usually including summer fallow as preparation for corn products
1937. . . . .Main crops:Wheat and barley
1969. . . . . . . . .TRIST:More intensive cereal growing and sugar beet.
6.Enclosure:
1814195 acres enclosed under Private Act of Lands 1811
7.Settlement:
1981Large yet compact development. Church dislocated to west of main settlement. Railway crosses parish in central position E-W. Disused airfield intrudes into northern sector of parish. These two factors possibly influenced development. Site of Button Haugh Green (enclosed area) on northern boundary with Gt. Ashfield. Scattered farms.
Inhabited houses:1674 - 56, 1801 - 72, 1851 - 187, 1901 - 202, 1951 - 312, 1981 - 760
8.Communications:
Road:Roads to Woolpit, Tostock, Great Ashfield and Wetherden
Cartway between Bury St. Edmunds and Elmswell has existed through Norton Wood since ancient times
1844Carrier to Bury St. Edmunds on Wednesday
1891Carriers to Bury St. Edmunds on Wednesday and Saturday and to Stowmarket on Thursday
1912Remnant of 'Lord's Chariot Way' from Bury St. Edmunds remains as disused road.
Rail:
1891Rail station (level crossing in centre of village). Bury St. Edmunds - Cambridge line, opened (1846), closed for goods (1964), became unmanned halt (1967)
Tramline branch of railway existed to Woolpit brickworks (no dates)
Siding from railway also ran to timber yard and sawmill (19th cent.)
Private siding to Bacon factory (1964)
Main buildings on W. side demolished (1974)
Air:Great Ashfield airfield: built (1942) as Class 'A' airfield, USAF station, reverted to RAF (1945), sold (1959/60) returned to agriculture.
9.Population:
1086 - 41 recorded1831 - 694 inhabitants
1327 - 26 taxpayers paid 1. 17s. 8d.1851 - 779
1524 - 46 taxpayers paid 3. 14s.1871 - 754
1603 - 214 adults1901 - 858
1662 - 51 householders paid 7. 11s.*1931 - 864
1674 - 63 households1951 - 1,153
1676 - 110 adults1971 - 1,531
1801 - 451 inhabitants1981 - 2,127
* 'The Hearth Tax Return for the Hundred of Blackbourn 1662' transcribed by S. Colman. PSIA Vol.XXXII part 2, p.168
10.Benefice: RECTORY
1254Valued 10
Portion of Hospital of St. Edmunds 13s. 4d.. . . . .10. 13s. 4d.
1291Valued 12. 13s. 4d.
1341Valued 12. 13s. 4d.
1535Valued 11. 6s. 11d.
1747Parsonage house with hall, 2 parlours, kitchen, brewhouse, scullery, dairy, barn, stable, hayhouse and neat house + 5 acres ground adjoining.
1831Glebe house. Gross income 436 p.a.
Modus of 500 p.a. awarded in lieu of tithes (1843)
Mortgage for building rectory with specification, ground plan and elevation drawings (1864) in existence.
1891Rent charge of 497. 37 acres glebe and residence
1912Net value 348 p.a. 43 acres glebe and residence
PATRONS:Sir Robert Gardyner (1603), J.T.Lawton (1831), Incumbent (18?1), W. Luke (1873), W.A. Macfarlane Grieve (1912)
11.Church:ST. JOHN THE DIVINE
(Chancel, vestry, clerestoried nave, aisles, S.porch, W.tower)
1086Church + 20 acres free land in alms
Believed originally built by monks from Bury St. Edmunds
15th cent.Nave, tower and porch, 5 bay arcade.
Repair of aisle of St.John Baptist (1471)
1864Chancel restored, S. aisle rebuilt (1862)
1872N. aisle rebuilt
1884Walls coloured

Seats: 350 free (1873)

12.Nonconformity etc.:
16035 recusants
16065 recusant papists (3 members of Mannock family)
16117 popish recusants (2 members of Mannock family)
1779-18395 houses set aside for worship
Wesleyan/Methodist chapel opened (1804), pulled down (1898) and new chapel erected. While in the building services where held in building next to railway station (office of 'Jewers' in 1959)
'Baptist church (1887-1987)' Centenery booklet
'A Short History of a Village Methodist Society 1799-1959' by Rev. D.A. Bullen (1959)
'Elmswell Methodist Chapel' by J. Duncan (1964)
13.Manorial:
1066/1086Manor of 2 carucates belonging to the Abbot of St. Edmunds
Extent and customary of the lands (1357) - Add.MSS in British Museum
1536Sir Thomas Darcy owns (linked to Stowmarket, Woolpit, Great Ashfield, Bardwell)
1590Sir Robert Gardner owns (linked to Winston and Woolpit)
18th cent.Christopher Calthorpe owns. The line of descent is here disputed.
1905W.A. Macfarlane Grieve owns
14.Market/Fairs:
1912Livestock market held here every Monday by Messrs. Hugh Boby & Co.
15.Real property:1844 - 2,293 rental value
1891 - 4,041 rateable value
1912 - 4,131 rateable value
16.Land ownership:
1844-1912Land sub-divided
17.Resident gentry:
1679Gardiner Kettleborough
1844Rev. J.T. Lawton
1891Capt. Alexander (10th Hussars), Rev. W.A.C. Macfarlane MA
1912J.C. Leatherdale JP
18.Occupations:
1500-15491 rough mason, 1 mason
1550-15997 husbandmen, 11 yeomen, 1 ploughwright, 1 shearman (one who cuts woollen cloth)
1600-16491 husbandman, 16 yeomen, 1 servant, 1 blacksmith, 2 spinsters, 1 tailor
1650-169916 yeomen, 2 tanners, 1 watchmaker, 1 tailor, 1 cordwainer, 1 linen weaver, 1 clothier
1831134 in agriculture, 26 in retail trade, 1 professional, 17 in domestic service
1844Beer seller, wheelwright, cutler/grinder, schoolmistress, quatermaster, joiner, victualler, blacksmith, woodman, 2 bakers, 3 boot/shoemakers, 2 bricklayers, 2 butchers, 17 farmers, maltster, 3 gardeners/nurserymen, 2 grocers/drapers, 3 tailors
1891Brick manufacturer and agricultural implement manufacturer
1912New roller mills built (1911)
Co-operative Bacon Factory opened (1911)
Sub-postmaster, 2 schoolmistresses, stationmaster, pork butcher, tailor, shoemaker, 2 millers, 9 farmers, hotel owner, auctioneer, builder/decorator, shoemaker/shopkeeper, cricket bat manufacturer, 2 publicans, corn and flour merchant/stationer, butcher, printers, chemical manure merchant/saddler and harness maker, highway surveyor, carrier, horse slaughterer, wholesale corn merchant, 2 beer retailers, baker/confectioner, motor and general engineer, bootmaker, 2 grocers, corn merchant, income tax collector, farm bailiff, coal merchant, 2 builders, coal and salt merchant/insurance agent, engineer and agricultural implement manufacturer/ironmonger, cycle agent, timber merchant/saw mill, blacksmith, private school proprietor, insurance agent, brick manufacturer.
W.W. Hawes (printers) established (1906)
19.Education:
18181 Sunday school on Madras system (20 attend)
18333 daily schools (50 attend), 1 Sunday school (established church) (55 attend), 1 Wesleyan Methodist Sunday school (80 attend)
1844School for instruction of poor supported by rector
St. John's Church school founded (1864) by Admiral Sir George Seymour, held in trust for education of children of the parish in principles of the Church of England. Under Government inspection. Average attendance (1912) 40.
School Board established (1886)
Board school built (1890) replacing former iron structure. Accommodates 170 pupils, average attendance (1921) 115. Plans to convert into offices (1987)
New primary school opened (1985) although old school appears to have continued to function until January 1986 when it closed.
1912Private school for girls.
20.Poor relief:
1776218. 12s. 3d.spent on poor relief
1803416. 17s. 6d.- ditto -
1818820. 3s. 0d. - ditto -
1830671. 2s. 0d. - ditto -
1832618. 3s. 0d. - ditto -
1834510. 13s. 0d. - ditto -
21.Charities:
GARDINER'S ALMHOUSE AND CHARITIES: 1614/15 Almhouse built containing rooms to house 6 poor widows and pension of 16d per week each + yearly supply of ready made gowns of coarse blue cloth/stuff.
3 widows should be from Elmswell and 3 from Woolpit.
Allowance for purchase of land to support of almshouse, amounting to 31 p.a.

CHURCH AND POOR ESTATE: 1706
by Decree of Commissioners of Charitable Uses: 25 acres 3R 6P in Woolpit and Elmswell let at 84. 10s. p.a. applied to the benefit of the poor and support of the church

22.Other institutions:
Almshouse built by Sir Robert Gardiner (1614) - See Charities. Restored (1967)
'The Tabernacle', an 'iron building' built (1887) seats 300
1912Thedwastre Sub-Committee of W. Suffolk Local Pension Committee meet on 2nd Saturday of each month in the Council school
Memorial Hall built (1956)
Thedwastre RDC offices opened in parish (1959)
Village Hall and playing fields in existence (1979)
23.Recreation:
1884Beer seller, RED LION public house
18912 beerhouses, THE FOX and THE RED LION public houses
19122 beer retailers, THE FOX hotel, THE RAILWAY TAVERN and THE LION public house.
1920Football team
20th cent.Cricket team, badminton and darts clubs, and Womens Institute
24.Personal:
25.Other information:
Abbots of St. Edmunds had country seat in parish. Said to have entertained Henry VI here (1433)
Churchyard contains remnants of ancient cross (1912)
'Collections towards the History and Antiquities of Elmswell and Campsey Ash' by J.J. Nichols (1790)
Elmswell consisted of 188 acres pre-enclosure
Map of Elmswell manor (1627)
Large collection of documents relating to bastardy (18th cent.)
Grange Estate: 88 homes built at Eastern Way/Millers Close (1982)
Mann's Court: opened sheltered accommodation for elderly (1980)
Great Court of St. Edmund was held by the Abbot in the parish (as well as elsewhere) (pre 1536)
Inventory (photocopy of) of Elmswell Hall in parish folder (1752)
'St. Edmunds Bacon Factory Ltd.'. East Anglian Life (April 1964)
Transcripts of wills (1453-1476) in parish folder
2 windmills valued 26s. 8d. (1283)
'A Suffolk Hundred in 1283' by E.Powell (1910). Concentrates on Blackbourn Hundred - gives land usage, livestock and the taxes paid.
Elmswell Hall: originally Elizabethan but with much alteration.
List of field names from the 1842 tithe map in parish folder.
'Elmswell' by E.Rayner. East Anglian Magazine Vol.31 p.213.
Anglia T.V. programme (1962) specifically about 'Annual Bacon Fair'.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES:
Elmswell Hall, moated site (CRN 6895)
Rom. pottery kiln (CRN 6896)
Possible length Roman road (CRN 6899)
St. Johns Church (CRN 6900)
Stray finds: Rom. coin (CRN 6898), Bronze ring (CRN 6902)
Scatter finds: Rom. pottery (CRN 6894, 6897), coin, pottery (CRN 6901)

Note: CRN = Computer Record No.