"ELMSWELL, a parish in the hundred of Blackburn, county Suffolk, 5 miles N.W. of Stowmarket, and 1 mile N. of Woolpit, its post town It is a station on the Great Eastern line. The abbots of Bury St. Edmund's at one time had a seat here, which was given by James I. to Sir Robert Gardiner, and is now a farmhouse. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, value £404. The church is an ancient stone edifice, dedicated to St. John. Its walls are strengthened by buttresses, and the tower is lofty. It contains a curious antique font and carved screen, also a marble monument to Sir Robert Gardiner, and several tablets. The charities are Gardiner's almshouses for six poor women, with an endowment producing about £40 per annum. The Wesleyans have a chapel, and there is a parochial school for both sexes, also one belonging to the Wesleyans. A fair is held on the 1st November."
Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)