Bradfield Combust

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Bradfield Combust
All Saints' Church, Bradfield Combust.jpg
All Saints Church
Bradfield Combust is located in Suffolk
Bradfield Combust
Bradfield Combust
Location within Suffolk
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBury St Edmunds
Postcode districtIP30
List of places
52°10′59″N 0°46′01″E / 52.183°N 0.767°E / 52.183; 0.767Coordinates: 52°10′59″N 0°46′01″E / 52.183°N 0.767°E / 52.183; 0.767
Village sign, bearing the name of Arthur Young (1741–1820)

Bradfield Combust (or Burnt Bradfield[1]) is a village and former manor and civil parish, now in the parish of Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield in Suffolk, England, located on the A134 between Windsor Green and Great Whelnetham. In 1961 the parish had a population of 108.[2] In 1988 the parish was merged with Stanningfield to form "Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield".[3]

Origin of the name[edit]

According to Swedish Professor of English at Lund University, Eilert Ekwall, the meaning of the village name of "Bradfield" is "the wide fold" (syn. Bradefeld, Bradfelda, Bradefelda). "Combust" is derived from "Combusta" Latin fem. = burnt or burned; medieval syn. "Brent".[citation needed]


Before the Conquest, the manor was probably owned by Ulfketel, Saxon King of the East Angles, who gave this part of his manor to the monks of St. Edmund, while reserving the lordship.[4]

The Domesday Book records the population of Bradefelda manor, including Bradfield St Clare and Bradfield St George. Bradefelda/fella existed before the Conquest. The book states that then (i.e. before the Conquest), as in 1086, there were fifteen villans and eighteen bordars; 'then' one slave, and in 1086 six slaves; and three free men. Over these men St. Edmund (the Abbey of Edmund the Martyr) had sake and soke with regard to every customary due. They were not allowed to sell their lands without the Abbot's permission. In the same place (i.e. Bradfield) other men had more rights: there were in 1086, as before the Conquest, nine free men who could sell their lands but the soke and service belonged to the Abbey or anyone who purchased the land. The Book also records that the church of this 'vill' owned 10.5 acres (4.2 ha) of free land for alms.

The name Bradfield Combust is traditionally said to have derived from an incident in the autumn of 1327, when an angry mob burned down Bradfield Hall at Bradfield,[5] at the time the property of the Crown (a young Edward III) and managed by the Abbot of Bury St Edmunds. However, it is reliably asserted that a Bradfield Hall (the King's own hall) inside the Abbey[6] at Bury St Edmunds was burnt down during that insurrection.[7][8] Thus there were two Bradfield Halls and there arose a debate as to the naming of the village, and the circumstances surrounding it. The settlement is certainly known to have been called 'Bradefeld Combusta' in 1302/03.[9] Thus the naming of the village cannot originally have been associated with the 1327 insurrection. It is reasonable however, to deduce that the name of Bradfield Combust (appearing certainly in the early 14th century, and in the 15th century synonymous with Brent Bradfield or Burnt Bradfield[10][11]) does derive from some conflagration – but of what, when prior to 1302, and exactly where, is unknown.

Bradfield Hall

Bradfield Hall at Bradfield Combust is perhaps best known from the 17th century as the seat of the Young family, spanning several generations (from 1620 to the early 20th century) and famous heads of the household. The most eminent member was Arthur Young (1741–1820), an agriculturalist and great socio-political writer and campaigner for the rights of agricultural workers.[12] This Arthur Young entertained or corresponded with such notable people as William Wilberforce, George Washington, Edmund Burke, François Alexandre Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, and Joseph Priestley. According to Matilda Betham-Edwards, never perhaps had been seen in Suffolk such distinguished international gatherings. The present flint and brick Hall was built in 1857 on the exact site of its predecessor, by his son Arthur John Young. It lies adjacent to a square moated area, possibly modified to make it more impressive when the 1857 Hall was built beside it,[13] but of antiquity.

Bradfield Combust Methodist Church

The current village sits astride the on the A134, originally a Roman Road just here, and the same highway that Will Kempe (one of the co-founders of the Globe Theatre) took in Shakespearian times on his famous dance from London to Norwich.

Bradfield Combust Methodist Church was founded in 1867.[14]

The Manger public house is a 15th-century Grade II listed building with 16th- and 17th-century alterations. It was referred to as "Bradfield Manger"[15] in the will of Thomas Roberson dated 16 July 1660. It is a popular pub and restaurant and a handy meeting place for clubs and special-interest groups.

The village is the site of several commercial fruit orchards and strawberry fields. Suffolk Scouts operate the Bradfield Park Campsite for the benefit of Scouting, Guiding, Educational and Youth Organisations.[16]

Church of All Saints[edit]

The church, All Saints, is officially dated 1066–1539,[17] with a late 12th-century Norman font and doorway to the north of the nave. It is a Grade II* listed building.[18] Two wall paintings appear in the nave, one representing St. George and the Dragon (c. 1400), and the other St. Christopher.[19] The tomb of Arthur Young, in the form of a sarcophagus, lies in the churchyard and is designated a National Monument.[20][21] It is inscribed "Let every real patriot shed a tear, For genius, talent, worth, lie buried here."

Listed buildings[edit]

English Heritage lists the following listed buildings within Bradfield Combust.

Grade II*[edit]

Grade II[edit]

The Manger public house, beside the A134

N.B. The above property details represent the names and addresses that were used at the time that the buildings were listed. In some instances the name of the building may have changed over the intervening years.

Historic estates[edit]

The parish contained various historic estates including:


  1. ^ see eg Howard, Joseph Jackson, ed. (1868). The Visitation of Suffolke, made by William Hervey, Clarenceux King of Arms, 1561, with additions from family documents, original wills, Jermyn, Davy, and other MSS, &c.: Vol 2. Lowestoft & London, p.289[1]
  2. ^ "Population Statistics Bradfield Combust AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  3. ^ "The St. Edmundsbury (Parishes) Order 1988" (PDF). Local Government Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  4. ^ The Manors of Suffolk, Their History and Devolution, Vol VI. by Copinger p. 255. pub Manchester 1910
  5. ^ Paxman, Jeremy (1998). The English.
  6. ^ English Heritage (1992). Bury St Edmunds Abbey, English Heritage Guidebook. pp. 4–5.
  7. ^ Dymond & Northeast (1985). A History of Suffolk.
  8. ^ ed. T. Arnold (1892). Memorials of St Edmund's Abbey, HMSO, London, p338.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Inquisitions and Assessments relating to Feudal Aids, HMSO, London Vol IV, p30. 1908.
  10. ^ "bradley – aqwg1513". Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  11. ^ "bradley – aqwg1298". Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  12. ^ Betham-Edwards, Matilda (1967). Autobiography of Arthur Young. New York: A.M. Kelley.
  13. ^ Suffolk County Sites & Monuments Record SF791
  14. ^ GENUKI. "Genuki: Chapel [Bradfield Methodist Church], Bradfield Combust, Primitive Methodist, Suffolk". Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  15. ^ Good Stuff IT Services. "The Manger Public House – Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield – Suffolk – England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Bury St Edmunds Scout-Guiding-Education-Activity Centre". Bradfield Park Campsite. Archived from the original on 15 August 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  17. ^ Suffolk County Sites & Monuments Record SF465
  18. ^ "All Saints Church - Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield - Suffolk - England - British Listed Buildings". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  19. ^ Suffolk County Council Sites & Monuments Record BRC 003 SF 465
  20. ^ Atkinson, R. G. (1986) Summary of Documentary Sources for Churches in Suffolk,
  21. ^ Historic England (27 January 1984). "All Saints Church, Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield (1228768)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Listed Buildings Online – English Heritage". Archived from the original on 25 September 2005. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  23. ^ "Heritage Gateway". Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  24. ^ "Bradfield Combust". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  25. ^ Howard (1868), Heraldic Visit Suffolk 1561, p.289
  26. ^ Howard, Joseph Jackson, ed. (1868). The Visitation of Suffolke, made by William Hervey, Clarenceux King of Arms, 1561, with additions from family documents, original wills, Jermyn, Davy, and other MSS, &c.: Vol 2. Lowestoft & London, p.289[2]
  27. ^ History of Parliament biography[3]

External links[edit]

Media related to Bradfield Combust at Wikimedia Commons