Great Bealings village sign
Great Bealings shown within Suffolk
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||Central Suffolk and North Ipswich|
Great Bealings is a small village in Suffolk, England. It has about 310 people living in it, in around 120 households. Its nearest towns are Ipswich (6 miles (9.7 km) away) and Woodbridge (2.6 miles (4.2 km)). Nearby villages include Little Bealings, Playford, Culpho, Hasketon and Grundisburgh. The village does not have an obvious centre, and the population is split between two areas — one around Lower Street to the East of the village, and the other at Boot Street/Grundisburgh Road to the West of the village. St Mary's, the village church, is about in the middle of these two centres of population.
The village shares a playing field with Little Bealings, which is located behind the joint Village Hall, and includes a grassed plateau, a fenced and hard surfaced multi-sports court, children's play equipment, and a boules piste. It is named after John Ganzoni, Lord Belstead, who lived in the village for many years, and whose Charitable Trust Fund supported the project.
The River Lark passes through the middle of the village, and is crossed by the main road with a hump back bridge.
Although there has been plenty of evidence of Roman occupation and they were known to navigate up to Clopton, the village name is believed to be of Saxon origin, meaning the area where the Beda or Bele people lived. The village was known as Belinges Magna until 1674 when the current spelling appeared, although Magna remained until much more recently.
In the Domesday Book there is mention of Saxon hall owned by Halden with Anund the priest in attendance. This was on the meadow by the church and was owned by several families such as the de Peche, Clench’s and Majors, who knocked it down in 1775 to use the material to aid the construction of Bealings House.
The Seckford family had been landowners in the time of Edward I, with local benefactor Thomas Seckford rebuilding Seckford hall as the country residence in 1530. He was a close advisor to Elizabeth I. His parents are buried in Great Bealings Church.
The village has always had a strong agricultural base with several small farms. In White’s gazetteer of Suffolk in 1855, the listed tradesmen are: brickmaker, 2 boot makers, builder, wheelwright, blacksmith, gardener, shopkeeper, and miller as well as several farmers and gentlemen. The hump back bridge was built in 1841 and the village has had at least two pubs, the Boot and the Live and let Live in Lower Street. It is thought that two windmills existed in the village during the 1800s.
Another famous resident was Major Edward Moor. He served in India, being wounded three times. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and an author on Indian mythology. He brought the stone obelisk to Bealings House and wrote the mystery, Bealings Bells, published in 1841, about an apparently haunted system of bell-pulls.
Charles Frederick Oldham, a retired Brigade Surgeon of the Bengal Medical Service and a well known researcher into the history of Religions died at Great Bealings on March 25, 1913.
Rectors of the Parish
Plaques in the church list the following Rectors:
Anund the Priest 1086 Mathew de Stanton 1306 Geoffrey de Banhale 1307 Richard de Westhorpe 1331 Reginald Bustard 1338 Stephen de Duddeley 1341 Robert de Appleton 1343 Radulphus de Ipswich 1349 Nicholas de Lydgate 1349 John Joye 1350 William de Drayton 1352 Robert de Hethe 1375 John Tubbyng 1395 John Stratton 1407 William Jowle 1448 Robert Coppyng 1464 John Jacob 1476 Richard Williamson 1517 John Walker 1517 John Fayerthwat 1536 Robert Baxter 1542 Robert Gybsonne 1560 Richard Larwood 1566 Robert Hutchinson M.A. 1607 William Gibbins B.A. 1629 Edmund Smith B.A. 1653 Edmund Brome 1672 Richard Cavell 1719 Robert Hingeston M.A. 1726 Wm Dobbyns Humphrey 1766 Philip Meadows B.A. 1804 Wm Chafie Henniker M.A. 1838 Edward Jas. Moor B.A. 1844 Howard Beech M.A. 1886 Francis B Champion M.A. 1917 Frank Mitton 1930 George H Round-Turner 1936 David T Jarvis B.A. 1945 John McMillen O.C.S. 1954 Denis Spencer A.K.C. 1956 J G Steven A.L.C.D H.C.R 1970 Frank Hollingsworth 1975 Michael Skliros 1991 Christine Everett 1996 Pauline Stentiford 2003
Images of Great Bealings
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Great Bealings.|
- The Great Bealings web site
- The description of St Mary's church in "Suffolk Churches"
- The Weather from Great Bealings