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"WOOLPIT, a parish in the hundred of Thedwestry, county Suffolk, 6 miles N.W. of Stowmarket, 8 S.E. of Bury St. Edmund's, and 1 mile S.W. of the Elmswell railway station on the Great Eastern line. The village is situated on the road from Ipswich to Bury St. Edmund's, and was formerly a market town under the Abbot of Bury, to whom the manor once belonged. At the Dissolution it was given to the Gardiners, and is now the property of J. Harcourt Powell, Esq. The soil is principally a stiff clay, intersected by a vein of brick earth, from which white bricks and tiles are made. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely, value £350. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. The tower and spire, having been destroyed by lightning in 1852, have recently been rebuilt at a cost of £2,000. It has a porch with niches, and the Lady's well near it. The register dates from 1558. The Primitive Methodists have a chapel. There are National schools, built in 1836, and reading-rooms recently established. The charities produce about £70 per annum. Roman coins have been found in the neighbourhood. A fair is held on the 16th September and four succeeding days for horses, cattle, and toys."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)


Church History

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

Description and Travel

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  • A description of Woolpit transcribed from Stephen Whatley's "Gazetteer of England" (1750) by Mel Lockie © 2011.
" WULPIT, (Suffolk) near Stow-Market, 8 m. from St. Edmundsbury, in the road to Ipswich, is supposed by some to be the ancient Sitomagus, by the appearance of large deep ditches, that are conjectured to be Roman works. The manor bel. once to the monks of St. Edmundsbury. Here are made the best white bricks. It has a Horse-Fair for a week, from the 6th of Sept. In Camden's time it had a Mt. "

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Historical Geography

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