Great Bealings

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Great Bealings
Great Bealings village sign
Great Bealings is located in Suffolk
Great Bealings
Great Bealings
Great Bealings shown within Suffolk
Population 302 (2011)
OS grid reference TM231489
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Woodbridge
Postcode district IP13
Dialling code 01473
Police Suffolk
Fire Suffolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
SuffolkCoordinates: 52°05′38″N 1°15′25″E / 52.094°N 1.257°E / 52.094; 1.257

Great Bealings is a small village in Suffolk, England. It has about 302 people living in it in around 113 households.[1] 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.[2]


Although there has been plenty of evidence of Roman occupation[2] 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[3] until 1674 when the current spelling appeared, although Magna remained until much more recently.

In the Domesday Book there is mention of the 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, and Majors, who knocked it down in 1775 to use the material to aid the construction of Bealings House.

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, two 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, both in Lower Street. It is thought that two windmills existed in the village during the 1800s.

Notable residents[edit]

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.

Admiral Pelham Aldrich, who was Admiral Superintendent of Portsmouth Docks and attended several surveying expeditions around the world, was a resident and is buried in the churchyard.

Another 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,[4] about an apparently haunted system of bell-pulls.[5]

Winifred Beech, the author and wife of Sir John Fortescue, was born in Great Bealings rectory, the daughter of Rector Howard Beech, in 1888.

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 25 March 1913.[6]

Rectors of the Parish[edit]

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
Celia Cook 2015

Images of Great Bealings[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Great Bealings History
  3. ^ The National Archives; Government website; accessed January 2017
  4. ^ Bealings Bells; by Major Moor
  5. ^ Hall, Trevor (1965). "Bealings Bells". New light on old ghosts. G. Duckworth. p. 29. 
  6. ^ Brigade Surgeon Charles Frederick Oldham [Obituar]. The British Medical Journal 1, No. 2728 (12 April 1913), p. 802