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Stanningfield - Church of St Nicholas.jpg
Church of St Nicholas, Stanningfield
Stanningfield is located in Suffolk
Stanningfield shown within Suffolk
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBury St Edmunds
Postcode districtIP29
EU ParliamentEast of England
List of places
52°11′53″N 0°43′08″E / 52.198°N 0.719°E / 52.198; 0.719Coordinates: 52°11′53″N 0°43′08″E / 52.198°N 0.719°E / 52.198; 0.719

Stanningfield is an English village in the parish of Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield, in the St Edmundsbury district of the county of Suffolk. The village lies just off of the A134 road, about 5 miles (8 km) south-east of Bury St Edmunds, 5 miles (8 km) north-west of Lavenham, and 10 miles (16 km) north of Sudbury.


Stanningfield village sign

Stanningfield lies in the St Edmundsbury district of the shire county of Suffolk. The three tiers of local government are Suffolk County Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield Parish Council. The parish currently lacks a parish plan or design statement.


The village has an hourly daytime bus service on Monday to Saturday to Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury. Some buses connect with trains to Cambridge and Ipswich (at Bury) or London, Liverpool Street (at Sudbury).[1]


The Red House Public House

Stanningfield takes its name from the Early English name "Stanfella" or "Stansfelda" meaning "stony field". It is known that the area was occupied early in recorded British history as traces of Roman occupation has been found on one local farm. Occasional documentary references mention the village in Anglo-Saxon and Norman times, including The Domesday Book. The oldest building, St Nicholas' Church, dates back at least to the Norman period.[2]

The 1838 Tithe Map shows the same internal road patterns as today, with roads leading out to the neighbouring villages of Hawstead, Lawshall, Great Whelnetham, Sicklesmere, Bradfield Combust and Cockfield. The nearest railway station was located in the last until it closed to passengers in 1961. The River Lark is a dominant feature, as are several village greens. Hoggard's Green, the largest, has long played an important part in community life. The pond on that green has long gone, but in 1996 a successful reclamation of an ancient pond at Old Lane was undertaken.

A small, scattered village, Stanningfield centres on the green, the Red House inn and the nearby community shop. There is a picturesque area around St Nicholas' Church, which includes the village hall (formerly church hall), the old rectory and several old farmhouses. On the Lawshall side of the village stands Coldham Hall, dating from Tudor times. One remarkable feature is the continuity of Roman Catholicism from the Middle Ages to the present day, in a predominantly Protestant area. Ambrose Rookwood of Coldham Hall was executed for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot.[2]

The novelist, playwright and actress Elizabeth Inchbald (née Simpson) was born into a Catholic farming family in the village on 15 October 1773.

St Nicholas's Church[edit]

The entrance to St Nicholas's church

There has been a church in Stanningfield since before 1086, when the Domesday Book briefly recorded that Stanfella had a church with 16 acres (6.5 ha) of free land. Situated in a secluded spot about half a mile from the present centre of the village, Stanningfield Church is dedicated to St Nicholas of Myra in Asia Minor, from whom the Santa Claus customs derive.

Each period has added a contribution to the fabric of the church. The most remarkable exterior feature is a Decorated chancel, a bequest from the Rookwood family in the 14th century, noted for the design and craftsmanship of the window tracery.[3] Much restoration was undertaken in the last third of the 19th century and early years of the 20th. Above the chancel arch is a 15th-century Doom, painted on plaster in black line with some red background. This was expertly restored in 1995.[4]

The bell-chamber stage of the 15th-century tower was reduced in height in the late 19th century and a slated pyramid roof added. Tradition has it that the repair resulted from a Colchester earthquake felt over a 150-mile radius, but subsidence of the medieval foundations is more likely.[4] The tower had three bells, of which one has been hung again to a wooden frame just below the cap. The other two, with inscriptions from the 16th and 17th centuries, stood on the nave floor until as recently as 1967, when they were melted down for scrap.[3]

The church is currently one of seven parishes forming the Benefice of St Edmund Way.[5]

The Red House[edit]

The inn was built in 1865 and Henry Cornish was recorded as being the landlord in 1871. It was bought by the brewers Greene King in 1877, along with outbuildings and adjacent cottages.[4]

Listed buildings[edit]

English Heritage lists the following listed buildings within Stanningfield. The details given represent the names and addresses in use at the time of listing.

Grade I:

  • St Nicholas' Church, Church Road[6]
  • Coldham Hall, Coldham Hall Lane[7]

Grade II*:

  • Former Roman Catholic Chapel, 5 miles (8 km) East of Coldham Hall, Coldham Hall Lane[8]

Grade II:

  • Fox House, Bury Road – Images of England
  • Newhall Cottage, Bury Road – Images of England
  • Old Cottage, Chapel Road – Images of England
  • Homestead and Sunrise, Chapel Road – Images of England
  • Bakers Farmhouse, Church Road – Images of England
  • Church Farmhouse, Church Road – Images of England
  • Stable And Coach House Block, 80 Metres East of Coldham Hall, Coldham Hall Lane – Images of England
  • Outbuilding With Bell Turret, 20 Metres North East of Coldham Hall, Coldham Hall Lane[9]
  • Coldham Hall Cottage, Coldham Hall Lane[10]
  • Dovecote 150 Metres South of Coldham Hall, Coldham Hall Lane
  • Hall Farmhouse, Donkey Lane [11]
  • Makins Farmhouse, Donkey Lane – Images of England
  • Barfords, Donkey Lane [12]
  • Thatched House, The Green – Images of England
  • Orchard Cottage, The Green – Images of England
  • Moorside, Old Lane, IP29 4SA – Images of England
  • Little Saxes Farmhouse – Images of England
  • K6 Telephone Kiosk, Ixer Lane[13][14][15][16]


According to the Office for National Statistics, at the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, the parish of Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield had a population of 503 with 231 households,[17] increasing to a population of 578 in 253 households at the 2011 Census.

Population change[edit]

Population growth in Stanningfield from 1801 to 1891
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1881 1891
Population 248 263 290 306 327 320 268 301
Source: A Vision of Britain Through Time[18]
Population growth in Stanningfield from 1901 to 2001
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 2001 2011
Population 258 254 211 221 236 211 503 578
Source: A Vision of Britain Through Time[18]

Notable people[edit]

Location grid[edit]


  1. ^ Chambers Bus Timetable Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b Stanningfield Village Society, ed. (1997). A Stanningfield Century 1837–1939 – A portrait of a Suffolk village. ISBN 0-9532093-0-X.
  3. ^ a b "Suffolk Churches – Stanningfield". Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Stanningfield Village Society, ed. (1997). A Stanningfield Century 1837–1939 – A portrait of a Suffolk village. ISBN 0-9532093-0-X.
  5. ^ A Church Near You Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  6. ^ Images of England
  7. ^ Images of England
  8. ^ Images of England
  9. ^ Images of England
  10. ^ Images of England
  11. ^ Images of England
  12. ^ Images of England
  13. ^ Images of England
  14. ^ "Listed Buildings Online – English Heritage". Archived from the original on 25 September 2005. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  15. ^ "Heritage Gateway". Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  16. ^ "Stanningfield – British Listed Buildings". Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  17. ^ "Suffolk County Council – 2001 Census Profiles" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  18. ^ a b "A Vision of Britain Through Time". University of Portsmouth & others. Retrieved 22 February 2011.

External links[edit]