Village History


Henley's Village Sign

The Sign.... and its history...

2 years ago at our 10th Community centre event, we launched a 'design a sign for Henley' as the original sign was really a notice board with a few pieces of metal on top!
We received around 15 entries..mainly from children.. sadly the steering group could not agree on one entry... so we used ideas from most of them and came up with a rough design to put forward to the production company...the rest is history as they say..
On the day of the unveiling we invited all the design entries to be see what they have created...
The design was based on the following:-
The Church                        
this has been around for over a 1000 years and is the corner stone of the village
The Community Centre    
the centre of our community.. this is where it all happens
The School                          
the future of the village starts here
The Fields                             
farming & walking around the village - we have miles of paths within 2 miles of the village
The Cross Keys                   
the symbol of Henley - St Peter and the keys of heaven

The Parish Council wishes to thank 'Signs of the Times' for their support and manufacture of our wonderful sign - please visit their website at..Signs Of the times

The late Edith Quinton had lived in the Village if Henley almost all of her life, click on the file below to re-live her memories....

Brief History

Before the Conquest, Tepekin a free man commended to Harold held Henley as a manor with two carucates of ploughland. The manor also included eight acres of meadow, woodland for six pigs and a church with two acres of land. It was held by Eudo the Steward in his demesne, from Roger d'Auberville in 1086, and eight acres were added to it. A second manor was held by Wulfric before the Conquest. This comprised one carucate and 70 acres of ploughland, four acres of meadow and a church with eight acres. In 1086 the manor was held by Roger from Walter the Deacon. In 1086 Roger also held (from Walter) 36 acres formerly held by six free men, and Walter himself held in demesne a manor of 40 acres, formerly held by Swein, a free man. Other smaller holdings were listed in 1086. 3 acres held by a free man commended to Stanwine under Harold, which Humphrey held from Robert Malet in 1086; six acres held by a free man before the Conquest that were held by Roger de Poitou in 1086; half an acre previously held by a free woman that was held by Roger de Poitou in 1086; and half an acre held by a free man under the commendation and soke of St Aethelthryth (Ely priory) in 1086. Finally, amongst the lands of Isaac, the Domesday tenant in chief, were 16 acres of free land in Henley, but belonging to Hemingstone, and included in its valuation. Domesday thus lists three manors, which must have been merged into one or (following Coppinger) two. In the reign of John, the Bishop of Norwich exercised rights here as he was granted the view of frankpledge (a policing system where the inhabitants of a community were responsible each other's behaviour) here by the crown. The prior of Norwich was also granted free warren here in 1307. In 1239 the manor is stated to have passed from John Sturmyn to his son Robert, but by 1259 Henley Manor was held by John de Weyland. It later belonged to the Honor of Eye, and was included in the grant of this by Edward III to his brother, John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall. John died childless, and by 1349 the manor was in the hands of Bartholomew de Burghersh (Lord Burghersh) and he and his wife Cecily de Weyland were granted free warren on their lands at Henley and elsewhere in that year. It seems likely that the land came to Burghersh through his wife's descent from John de Weyland. On Burghersh's death it passed to his daughter Elizabeth, wife of Edward Despenser. Coppinger suggested that Henley Hall was the other manor, and this was inherited by John Dameron from his father, William, in 1558

The Parish history is taken from a set of records of all Suffolk's parishes, which is held by Suffolk County Council's archaeology service

An Anglo Saxon "caterpillar" brooch in bronze, was found in Henley.

1. Parish : HENLEY

  • Meaning : High wood or clearing(EKWALL)
  • County : Suffolk

2. Hundred : CLAYDON(until 1327), BOSMERE AND CLAYDON
 Deanery : Claydon(until 1972), Bosmere(1972 onwards)
 Union : Bosmere and Claydon

  • Bosmere and Claydon RD(1894-1934)
  • Gipping RD(1934-1974)
  • Mid Suffolk DC(1974 -)

Other administrative details :

  • Ecclesiastical boundary change(1929)
  • Bosmere and Claydon Petty Sessional Division
  • Ipswich County Court District

3. Area : 1,235 acres (1912)

4. Soils : Mixed:-

  1. Slowly permeable calcareous/ non calcareous clay soils, slight risk water erosion
  2. Slowly permeable seasonally waterlogged fine loam over clay, some calcareous clay soils
  3. Deep well drained loam over clay come with calcareous clay subsoils.

5. Types of farming:

1086 12 acres meadow, wood for 6 pigs, 10 cattle, 16 pigs, 74 sheep, 2 oxen

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.

1818 MARSHALL: Course of crops varies usually including summer fallow as preparation for corn products.

1937 Main crops: Wheat, barley, beans and peas.

1969 TRIST: More intensive cereal growing and sugar beet.

6. Enclosure

7. Settlement:

1958 River Fynn flows through parish from N - SE
Small dispersed settlement with groups of habitation close to the church, at Henley Watering and Henley Square - scattered farms.
Inhabited houses : 1674 - 20, 1801 - 33, 1851 - 65, 1871 - 62, 1901 - 49, 1951 - 73, 1981 - 179.

8. Communications:

Road : Roads to Hemingstone, Akenham, Barham, and Witnesham. In 1891 there were carriers to Ipswich daily.

Rail: 3 miles to Claydon station, Ipswich to Bury St. Edmunds line opened in 1845, Claydon station closed 1963.

9. Population:

1086 - 38 recorded
1327 - 15 taxpayers paid £1.9s.6d
1524 - 18 taxpayers paid £1.14s.6d
1603 - 100 adults
1674 - not recorded
1801 - 250 inhabitants
1831 - 305 inhabitants
1851 - 326
1871 - 287
1901 - 208
1931 - 237
1951 - 233
1981 - 569

10. Benefice:VICARAGE(1831), DISCHARGED VICARAGE(1912)
1254 - Valued £3.6s.8d
1291 - Valued £5.6s.8d
1535 - Valued £10.0s.10d
1603 - Vicarage valued £10.10s. Incumbent also holds Washbrooke
1831 - Curate, stipend £60. Glebe house unfit for occupation. Gross income £103 pa.
Incumbent also holds canonry in Norwich Cathedral and Perpetual Curacy of St. Martin at Oak, Norwich. Rectorial tithes commuted for £256 pa, vicarial tithes for £118 pa (1841).
1912 - Nett value £155 pa - 16 acres glebe and residence.
PATRONS: Dean and Chapter of Norwich (1603 -)

11. Church:ST. PETER.
(Continuous chancel and nave, S porch, W tower).
1086 - Church + 2 acres land, church + 8 acres land
12th century - S doorway?
circa 1300 - Chancel
circa 1525 - Tower
1895 - Restoration

Seats: 110 (1915)

12. Nonconformity etc.Baptist chapel(no dates).

13. Manorial:

1066 - Manor of 2 carucates held by Tepekin a free man under patronage of Harold
1086 - Manor of 2 carucates belonging to Roger of Auberville
1066 - Manor of 1 carucate 70 acres held by Wulfric a free man
1086 - Manor of 1 carucate 70 acres belonging to Walter the Deacon
1066 - Manor of 40 acres held by Swein a free man
1086 - Manor of 40 acres belonging to Walter the Deacon


13th century - Bishop of Norwich owns
1259 - John de Weland held as Honor of Eye
circa 1349 - Bartholomew, Lord Burghersh held(linkedto Swilland, Carlton Colville and Clopton)
16th century - Dean and Chapter of Norwich

NOTE: Coplinger believes there was a second manor of HENLEY HALL

1558 - John Dameron owned (there is still a Dameron's Farm in the village)
late 16th century Ralph Meadows owns
1909 - Mrs Arthur Wolfe owns.

14. Market/Fairs:

15. Real Property:

1844 - £1,286 rental value
1891 - £1,491 rateable value
1912 - £1,282 rateable value

16. Land Ownership:

1844 - Rev J M Theobald. principle owner
1891/1912 Not recorded

17. Resident Gentry:

1787 - John Meadows Theobald
1844 - Rev G Drury BA
1891 - Rev H Pearson MA
1912 - Rev W C Pearson BA

18. Occupations:

1500 - 1549 2 husbandmen
1500 - 1599 2 yeomen, 2 husbandmen
1600 - 1649 5 yeomen, 1 tailor
1650 - 1699 7 yeomen, 1 cordwinder, 1 husbandman
1831 75 in agriculture, 8 in retail trade, 14 in domestic service
1844 Schoolmistress, blacksmith, corn miller, carpenter/beerhouse keeper, shoemaker, wheelwright, 8 farmers
1912 Sub-postmaster, teacher, wheelwright, 6 farmers, blacksmith, poultry dealer, publican

19. Education:

1818 - 1 Sunday school on Dr. Bells system(10 attend)
1833 - 2 daily schools(53 attend), 2 sunday schools(50-60 attend)
1844 - Schoolmistress recorded:
School built (1878), 50 attend(1891), enlarged (1892), average attendance(1912) 68 School Board formed(1875).

20. Poor Relief:

1776 - £88. 0s 2d. spent on poor relief
1803 - £112. 2s. 2d.
1818 - £308
1830 - £366. 19s.
1832 - £440. 1s.
1834 - £350. 10s.

21. Charities:

VERE'S CHARITY: 1766 by Codicil of Thomas Vere. Interest on £200. £3 distributed among poor. 10s paid to parish clerk (1840)

22. Other Institutions:

1891 - Police officer listed.

23. Recreation:

1844 - Beerhouse
1891/1912 - The CROSS KEYS public house

24. Personal:

25. Other Information:

Kewland Wood: appears in will of (1694)
Extracts from churchwardens accounts (1602 - 1846). East Anglian Notes and Queries, New Series Vol. 4 p.92.
Order for building of poor house for the poor(1672)
Workhouse recorded(1756)
Extracts from parish registers: Vere Family (1569-1775). East Anglian Notes and Queries, New Series Vol. 4 P.20
Surnames in Parish Registers(1558-1889) East Anglian Notes and Queries, New Series Vol.4 p.56

Archaelogical Sites:
Stray Finds: I.A. coin(CRN 63), Med. Coin(CRN 7434)
Scatter Finds: Rom. coin(CRN 67, 1327), Med. coin(crn 65).
Note: CRN = Computer Record Number.