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This article is about a village and civil parish in Suffolk. For the village in Norfolk, see Burston and Shimpling.
St George's Church, Shimpling - - 971793.jpg
St George's parish church
Shimpling is located in Suffolk
Shimpling shown within Suffolk
Population 431 {2011}[1]
OS grid reference TL8651
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district IP29
Dialling code 01284
Police Suffolk
Fire Suffolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
SuffolkCoordinates: 52°07′46″N 0°43′05″E / 52.12952°N 0.71793°E / 52.12952; 0.71793

Shimpling is a village and civil parish in south Suffolk, England. About 7 miles (11 km) from Bury St Edmunds, it is part of Babergh district. The village is formed from two halves, the newer Shimpling Street and about 2 miles (3 km) away the old village of Shimpling. The village has a Church of England parish church, where supermodel Claudia Schiffer and film producer Matthew Vaughn were married on 25 May 2002.[2]


Lane west of Shimpling Street


Shimpling is in Suffolk countryside surrounded by arable farmland. IT is between Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds and historically its residents have made their living from farming although other occupations included those of blacksmith, miller, carpenter, shopkeeper, beer seller, teacher and so on. Now there is no shop nor smithy, the school was closed along with the post office and police station. However the parish retains the three staples of life in their thriving community - the church, the pub and the village hall.[3]

The Hallifax family[edit]

Thomas Hallifax, a London banker, and his family were great benefactors of Shimpling and the surrounding area. They arrived in the early 19th century and purchased many Shimpling properties and farms and lived in Chadacre Hall (built in 1835). Over time they built houses, the school, the schoolhouse, the coal house and made extensive renovations to the church.[3]

The Chadacre Hall estate of 2,300 acres, including 22 farms and 54 houses, was finally sold in 1918. The hall later became an agricultural institute which closed in 1989 and was eventually purchased by David Hart.

The Village School[edit]

Thomas Hallifax built this as a girls' school in 1841 and thirty years later in 1871 his daughter added the boys section. The school was in use for almost 150 years until it was finally closed in 1989 when the remaining 29 pupils were moved to Lawshall.[3]

The Old Post Office[edit]

The Shimpling sub post office was opened in 1852 and was eventually closed in the early 1970s. However, the service was at one time moved to a different house in The Street.[3]


Village sign in Shimpling

Shimpling lies in the Babergh district of the shire county of Suffolk. The three tiers of local government are administered by

Shimpling Parish Council has 7 elected members, the Chair being John Pawsey and the current Clerk Jenny OReilly-Turner. Matters that have been under recent consideration include:

(a) Planning and development in the village
(b) Village Hall maintenance
(c) Children’s play area[4]

In terms of community planning the parish does not currently have a Parish Plan or Village Design Statement.

Community Facilities[edit]

The Bush Public House, Shimpling Street

Parish church[edit]

  • St George's parish church is approached by an avenue of lime trees from Rectory Lane. The church is 12th-century, with a round tower and late 13th-century chancel. There is a canonical sundial on the south wall. The nave has Perpendicular Gothic windows that were inserted in the 15th century. The building was restored in the 1860s. The windows have some 14th- and 15th-century stained glass, and a window by Henry Holliday (1839–1927) depicts the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.[3]

Public House[edit]

  • The Bush Public House – This is a 16th-century timbered building which has been a public house since at least 1840 when the landlord was Frederick Vickers. It used to have a thatched roof until the first world war when it was replaced with tiles.[3]

Village Hall[edit]

  • Shimpling Village Hall – The village hall is the centre of the community's social activities and hosts Parish Council and Women's Institute meetings, plus a range of other events which are managed by the Village Hall committee.[5]

Recreation ground and play facilities[edit]

In October 2010 a children's play park was opened adjacent to Hallifax Place. The play equipment caters for all age ranges, from toddlers to teenagers. There is also a recreation ground at Shimpling Road, Lawshall, in fairly close proximity.


In the adopted Babergh Local Plan Alteration No. 2 (2006) the Built-up area boundary is defined for Shimpling Street with no sites allocated for new residential development.[6] Areas of Visual and/or Recreational Amenity are also defined which protect important open space, visually important gaps in the street scene and recreational facilities.

Much of the parish south of Shimpling Street is within an area defined as Special Landscape Area. In addition parts of the Sites of Special Scientific Interest detailed below are defined within the parish.[7]

Listed buildings[edit]

Detail of St George's Church

English Heritage lists the following listed buildings within the parish of Shimpling.

Grade I[edit]

Grade II*[edit]


Grade II[edit]


NB: 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


Chadacre Woods

The parish contains parts of two SSSIs which are defined as ancient woodlands.


Lane to Shimpling from Stanstead

Within the Suffolk Landscape Character Assessment the parish of Shimpling is within an area defined as[15]

  • Undulating ancient farmlands - This is predominantly an area of ‘ancient enclosure’, with an irregular pattern of fields bounded by large, long-established hedges. The settlement pattern is one of dispersed farmsteads and hamlets, scattered between moderately sized green-edge settlements. The area is well stocked with ancient woods of moderate size, usually situated on the tops of the more poorly drained clay hills. In general there are long open views across this undulating landscape in which trees, either in hedges or in woods, are always a prominent feature. The historic pattern of field boundaries has been degraded through 20th century agricultural rationalisation that has resulted in a large number of hedges being removed.[16]
  • Ancient rolling farmlands - This is a rolling arable landscape of chalky clays and loams. The enclosure over a lot of the landscape retains much of the organic pattern of ancient and species-rich hedgerows and associated ditches. There are however some areas of field amalgamation and boundary loss, especially on the interfluves between the small valleys. The settlement pattern is dispersed farmsteads of mediaeval origin interspersed with some larger hamlets and occasional villages. The farms are large but are mainly owner-occupied rather than estate owned. The hedgerow trees are of typical clayland composition: oak, ash and field maple, with suckering elm. Although there are some areas of extensive field amalgamation, overall the landscape is largely intact, and accessible thorough a dense network of winding roads with wide verges.[17]
  • Rolling valley farmlands - This landscape has small and medium sized fields on the valley sides with an organic form which was created by the piecemeal enclosure of common arable and pasture lands. As with the other valley side landscapes the field size tends to increase on the upper sides and plateaux edges of these valleys. Overall the growth and development of villages and small towns in this landscape has been driven by the quality of the land and the agricultural prosperity that it brought. Ancient woodland is mainly confined to the upper slopes of the valleys and is mostly in relatively small parcels.[18]


Notable local businesses in the parish of Shimpling include.


Shimpling is served by a bus service operated by Mulleys Motorways which is sponsored by Suffolk County Council.

Mulleys bus at Shimpling, Suffolk (23 May 2014)

Service 375 - Alpheton-Bridge Street-Shimpling-Shimpling Street-Lawshall-Hawstead-Nowton-Bury St Edmunds


The village is served by All Saint's CEVCP School, Lawshall, a primary school currently catering for pupils aged 5–9.[20]

Older children attend Hardwick Middle School[21] and King Edward VI CEVC Upper School[22] in Bury St Edmunds.


According to the Office for National Statistics, at the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, Shimpling had a population of 395 with 162 households.[23]

Population change[edit]

Population growth in Shimpling from 1801 to 1891
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1881 1891
Population 441 393 450 496 517 470 491 464
Source: A Vision of Britain Through Time[24]
Population growth in Shimpling from 1901 to 2001
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 2001
Population 410 390 381 321 345 329 395
Source: A Vision of Britain Through Time[24]

Notable former residents[edit]

Location grid[edit]


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Claudia's wedding gets blanket coverage Scotland on Sunday, 26 May 2002
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Shimpling Parish Council - Village History". Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  4. ^ "Shimpling Parish Council - Annual Parish Meeting - 10th May 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  5. ^ "Shimpling Parish Council - Village Hall". Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  6. ^ "Babergh District Council - Babergh Local Plan Alteration No. 2 (2006) - Shimpling Inset" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  7. ^ "Babergh District Council - Babergh Local Plan Alteration No. 2 (2006) - Document". Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  8. ^ "Listed Buildings Online - English Heritage". Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  9. ^ "Heritage Gateway". Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  10. ^ "Shimpling - British Listed Buildings". Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  11. ^ "Appendix 4 -Sites of Special Scientific Interest - Babergh District" (PDF). Babergh District Council. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  12. ^ "Nature on the Map". Natural England. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  13. ^ "Appendix 4 - Sites of Special Scientific Interest - Babergh District" (PDF). Babergh District Council. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  14. ^ "Nature on the Map". Natural England. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  15. ^ "Suffolk Landscape Character Typology - Landscape Map". Retrieved 2011-02-26. :
  16. ^ "Suffolk Landscape Character Typology - Undulating ancient farmlands". Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  17. ^ "Suffolk Landscape Character Typology - Ancient Rolling Farmlands". Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  18. ^ "Suffolk Landscape Character Typology - Rolling valley farmlands". Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  19. ^ "Giffords Hall Vineyard & Wines". Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  20. ^ "All Saint's CEVCP School, Lawshall". Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  21. ^ "Hardwick Middle School". Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  22. ^ "King Edward VI CEVC Upper School". Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  23. ^ "Suffolk County Council - 2001 Census Profiles" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  24. ^ a b "A Vision of Britain Through Time". University of Portsmouth & others. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 

External links[edit]