How many of these 'hidden' Suffolk villages have you heard of?

St Mary's Church in Yaxley 

St Mary's Church in Yaxley - Credit: Geograph/John Tomlinson

Hidden in amongst our county's market towns and popular tourist spots, are some fascinating little places you might not know about.

Yaxley's village sign, which pays homage to both its nickname and the Sexton's wheel which can be found in its church

Yaxley's village sign, which pays homage to both its nickname and the Sexton's wheel which can be found in its church - Credit: Chris Barker/Archant Archives

Yaxley 

Situated just west of Eye is the village of Yaxley. With a population of just 588, this small settlement’s name means ‘cuckoo-clearing’ and while it may be small, it in fact has a pretty rich history.  

Yaxley is home to two important buildings – St Mary’s Church and Yaxley Hall. The former is a 12th century church which was described by art and architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner as ‘one of the most swagger in Suffolk’. The church is also home to the remnants of a medieval doom painting and a Sexton’s Wheel – one of only two left in East Anglia. 

Yaxley Hall is the village’s stunning 16th century Grade II-listed building and is home to a Henrietta Nelson painting which is reported to be haunted. Nelson, who died at the hall in 1816, was buried in a vault in the grounds of the house, where she rested until her body was later moved to Yaxley Church.


You may also want to watch:


Milden 

Not to be mistaken with Mildenhall, Milden is a tiny village and civil parish, located just over four miles away from Sudbury. With a population of only 101 residents as of the most recent census, Milden is home to the mound remains of Milden Castle – a 12th century motte-and-bailey castle. 

Most Read

Milden was also the birthplace of 17th century politician and antiquary Sir Simonds d'Ewes, 1st Baronet, whose book The Journals of All the Parliaments During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth provided detailed accounts of debates in both houses of Parliament between 1559 and 1601. 

Braiseworth, near Eye

Braiseworth, near Eye - Credit: Andy Abbott

Braiseworth 

Near Eye is the village of Braiseworth – a settlement so small that it no longer has its own parish church. The village’s medieval church was deconstructed in the mid-19th century, with its replacement designed by famed architect Edward Buckton Lamb whose works often saw him criticised for being unorthodox. Since the 1970s, Lamb’s church has become a private residence. 

In addition, 20th century New Zealand author Janet Frame visited Braiseworth in the 1960s, and later went on to base her 1965 novel The Adaptable Man on her experiences while in the village.   

Lindsey

Lindsey - Credit: Geograph/Robin Webster

Lindsey 

The civil parish of Lindsey, within the Babergh District, contains three small settlements – Lindsey, Lindsey Tye and Rose Green. Together, the three of them proudly lay claim to four listed buildings, which is an impressive feat considering how small they are.  

Within the parish are Rose Green Farmhouse, an unnamed cottage, and St James’ Chapel – a 13th century chapel that is both Grade I-listed and a scheduled ancient monument.  

Despite the area's diminutive size, its pub, The Lindsey Red Rose, has one of the biggest pub gardens in Suffolk

Dallinghoo 

With a population of 171 according to the last census, this village near Woodbridge may be tiny, but it’s certainly got its share of stories to tell.  

Dalinghoo was the birthplace of Francis Light, a British explorer who went on to found Penang, Maylasia. His son, William Light, later went on to become the founder of Adelaide, Australia.  

In addition, Dalinghoo made national news in 2008 after £500,000 worth of Iceni gold was uncovered in a field by keen detectorist Michael Dark. 

Wenham Magna 

Also known as Great Wenham, Wenham Magna is a village and civil parish within Suffolk’s Babergh district. Home to St John’s church – a 14th century Grade II-listed parish church, Wenham Magna is better known as the birthplace of witchfinder general Matthew Hopkins, who spent his three-year career executing over 100 alleged witches. Hopkins’ father James was in fact a vicar at the aforementioned St John’s church. 

Do you live somewhere in Suffolk that’s relatively unheard of but has an interesting story? Share your villages and hamlets by getting in touch with danielle.lett@archant.co.uk 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter