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St. Peter and St. Thomas Becket church

Stambourne is a village and civil parish in the Braintree District in north Essex, England.

Stambourne derives from an old local dialect term for 'stony brook'. Stambourne's closest neighbouring villages are Ridgewell, Toppesfield, Cornish Hall End and Great Yeldham.

The parish church of St Peter and St Thomas Becket dates from the 11th century and is a grade I listed building. [1]


Stambourne was caught up, as was much of England, in the witchcraft hysteria of the seventeenth century. In 1663, the spinster Sarah Houghton of Stambourne was charged by the authorities with causing John Smyth to become "consumed and made infirme." A jury including John Levett and Matthew Butcher found Houghton guilty, and she was ordered to be hanged. She was reprieved after the jury had rendered their judgment.[2]

Fireworks display[edit]

Stambourne Bonfire in 2007

Every year a bonfire and spectacular fireworks display is held in the village playing field. The event attracts people from surrounding areas (including Great Yeldham, Hedingham and Halstead).

Famous residents[edit]

Dame Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies, a famous stage actress of the early- and mid-20th century, lived in Stambourne in later life, dying in 1992 at the age of 101.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°01′N 0°30′E / 52.017°N 0.500°E / 52.017; 0.500