Coordinates: 52°01′N 0°30′E / 52.017°N 0.500°E / 52.017; 0.500
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stambourne is a village and civil parish in the Braintree District in north Essex, England. The civil parish population at the 2011 Census was 409.[1] Stambourne's closest neighbouring villages are Ridgewell, Toppesfield, Cornish Hall End and Great Yeldham.

St. Peter and St. Thomas Becket church
Cottages at Stambourne


Stambourne derives from an old local dialect term for 'stony brook'.[citation needed]

A part of the British 17th-century witchcraft trials, the spinster Sarah Houghton of Stambourne, in 1663, 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]

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


The parish church of St Peter and St Thomas Becket dates from the 11th century and is a Grade I listed building.[3]

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

The local handyman is known for lighting the bonfire every year wearing short shorts and a cowboy hat.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Stambourne Parish (1170213793)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England, Alan Macfarlane, James Anthony Sharpe, published by Routledge, 1999 ISBN 0-415-19612-4 ISBN 978-0-415-19612-3
  3. ^ Historic England. "PARISH CHURCH OF ST PETER AND ST THOMAS (1317130)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 April 2014.

External links[edit]

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