"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)
Descriptions and photographs of churches in the parish may be found in Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches.
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