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Stanningfield - Church of St Nicholas.jpg
Church of St Nicolas, Stanningfield
Stanningfield is located in Suffolk
 Stanningfield shown within Suffolk
Shire county Suffolk
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
EU Parliament East of England
List of places

Coordinates: 52°11′53″N 0°43′08″E / 52.198°N 0.719°E / 52.198; 0.719

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


The Red House Public House

Stanningfield takes its name from the Early English name "Stanfella" or "Stansfelda" meaning "stoney field". It is known that the area was occupied at the beginning of English recorded history because traces of Roman occupation has been found on one of the local farms. Occasional documentary references mention the village in Anglo-Saxon, Norman (The Domesday Book and medieval times. The oldest building, St Nicolas' Church, dates back to at least the Norman period.[1]

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

A small scattered village, Stanningfield's main centre is around the green, the Red House Public House and the nearby community shop. There is a picturesque area around St Nicolas' Church which includes the village hall (formerly the church hall), the former rectory and several farm houses. On the Lawshall side of the village stands Coldham Hall, a magnificent Tudor House. A remarkable feature of the history of Stanningfield has been 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.[1]

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

St Nicolas' Church[edit]

The entrance to St. Nicolas' church

There has been a church in Stanningfield since before 1086, the date when the Domesday Book briefly recorded that Stanfella had a church with 16 acres 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.

St Nicolas, in common with most village churches, has evolved down the centuries, as each period added its contribution to the fabric. The glory of the exterior is the superb Decorated chancel, the result of a bequest by the Rookwoods in the fourteenth century. The design and craftsmanship of the window tracery are outstanding.[2] A considerable amount of church restoration was undertaken during the last third of the nineteenth century and early years of the twentieth century. Above the chancel arch is an important fifteenth-century Doom, painted on plaster in black line with some red background. It was expertly restored in 1995.[3]

The bell-chamber stage of the fifteenth-century tower was reduced in height in the late nineteenth century and a slated pyramid roof constructed. Folklore has it that the need for this repair was due to the Colchester earthquake, felt over a 150-mile radius, but more likely it was caused by subsidence of the medieval foundations.[3] There were three bells in the tower, and one has been returned to a wooden bell frame just below the cap. The other two, with inscriptions from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, stood on the nave floor until as recently as 1967, when they were melted down for scrap.[2]

The Red House Public House[edit]

The Red House Inn was built in 1865 and Henry Cornish was recorded as being the landlord in 1871. It was bought bt Messrs Greene King, brewers, in 1877, along with the outbuildings and adjacent cottages.[3]


Stanningfield village sign

Stanningfield lies in the St Edmundsbury district of the shire county of Suffolk. The three tiers of local government are administered by

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

Listed buildings[edit]

English Heritage lists the following listed buildings within Stanningfield.

Grade I[edit]

Grade II*[edit]

  • Former Roman Catholic Chapel, 5 Metres East of Coldham Hall, Coldham Hall Lane – Images of England

Grade II[edit]

[4] [5] [6]

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


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.[7]

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[8]
Population growth in Stanningfield from 1901 to 2001
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 2001
Population 258 254 211 221 236 211 503
Source: A Vision of Britain Through Time[8]

Notable current and former residents[edit]

The following residents lived at Coldham Hall:

The current residents are:

Location grid[edit]


  1. ^ a b Stanningfield Village Society, ed. (1997). A Stanningfield Century 1837–1939 – A portrait of a Suffolk village. ISBN 0-9532093-0-X. 
  2. ^ a b "Suffolk Churches – Stanningfield". Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Stanningfield Village Society, ed. (1997). A Stanningfield Century 1837–1939 – A portrait of a Suffolk village. ISBN 0-9532093-0-X. 
  4. ^ "Listed Buildings Online – English Heritage". Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Heritage Gateway". Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Stanningfield – British Listed Buildings". Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Suffolk County Council – 2001 Census Profiles" (PDF). Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "A Vision of Britain Through Time". University of Portsmouth & others. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 

External links[edit]