Fornham St Martin

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Fornham St Martin
St. Martin, the parish church of Fornham St. Martin - - 632823.jpg
St. Martin's parish church in Fornham St. Martin
Fornham St Martin is located in Suffolk
Fornham St Martin
Fornham St Martin
Location within Suffolk
Population1,300 (2005)[1]
1,319 (2011)[2]
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBury St Edmunds
Postcode districtIP28, IP31
AmbulanceEast of England
EU ParliamentEast of England
List of places
52°16′19″N 0°42′50″E / 52.272°N 0.714°E / 52.272; 0.714Coordinates: 52°16′19″N 0°42′50″E / 52.272°N 0.714°E / 52.272; 0.714

Fornham St Martin is a village and civil parish in the West Suffolk district of Suffolk in eastern England. Located on the northern outskirts of Bury St Edmunds off east and west from the A134, in 2005 its population was 1300.[1] Its parish council is shared with neighbouring Fornham St Genevieve, and is known as Fornham St Martin cum St Genevieve Parish Council.

Near the current Lark Valley Drive, a smock windmill used to stand. It collapsed in 1927.[citation needed]

The village has one public house, the Woolpack, but no shops. Its school closed in the early 1950s.[citation needed]


The name "Fornham" is thought to be Saxon meaning "The homestead by the trout stream" and the village is well documented in the Domesday Book.[3]

The Battle of Fornham, one of the most significant battles in English history took place in Fornham Park and the surrounding area in 1173. Scribes of the time variously estimated that between 3000 and 10,000 Flemish mercenaries were slaughtered and lie beneath the fields, woodland and ditches.[citation needed]

Fornham once had a reputation for "pie-ladies" – women who walked to the abbey in Bury St Edmunds to feed the monks.[citation needed]

The village appears on John Speed's 1610 map as "Fernham mertin" and in 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described the town as a parish in Thingoe district, Suffolk in the Diocese of Ely; on the river Lark, 1¾ mile North of Bury St Edmunds and related that it had 74 houses, a post office, a church and a free school.[4]

Architect Robert Abraham was involved with the expansion of Fornham Hall in the 19th century.[citation needed]


Fornham St Martin Church (OS grid TL8566) with King George's playing field across the way at the south end of B1106 to the village. The churchyard contains a number of notable burials:

  • Vice-Admiral James Rivett-Carnac CB CBE DSC DL (1891–1970) - Royal Navy officer who became Commander-in-Chief of the New Zealand Division.
  • Major General Sir Harry Ord GCMG CB (1819–1885) - Colonial Governor of several posts including Bermuda, Straits Settlements and Western Australia.
  • Sir William Gilstrap, Bt. (1816–1896) - Prominent maltster and philanthropist who endowed the Gilstrap library in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Estimates of Total Population of Areas in Suffolk Archived December 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Suffolk County Council
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  3. ^ Fornham St Martin cum St Genevieve Parish Council:History History
  4. ^ Fornham St Martin Suffolk Britain through time Website