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Timber-framed house at Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk - - 230049.jpg
Stoke-by-Nayland is located in Suffolk
Location within Suffolk
Population682 (2011)
OS grid referenceTL986360
Civil parish
  • Stoke-by-Nayland
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtCO6
Dialling code01206
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
WebsiteStoke-by-Nayland Parish Council
List of places
51°59′15″N 0°53′30″E / 51.98755°N 0.89171°E / 51.98755; 0.89171Coordinates: 51°59′15″N 0°53′30″E / 51.98755°N 0.89171°E / 51.98755; 0.89171

Stoke-by-Nayland is a village and civil parish in Suffolk, England, close to the border with Essex. The village, located within Babergh district, has many cottages and timber-framed houses and all surround a recreation field. Possibly once the site of a monastery, the population of the civil parish at the 2001 census was 703, falling to 682 at the Census 2011.[1]


The village is first recorded in 946 in the will of Ælfgar, an Earl, where he endowed land to a community in the village, possibly a monastery.[2]

St Mary's Church[edit]

The church was rebuilt in the 15th century and renovated in 1865, and appears several times in John Constable's paintings, though not always in the right place. The most notable feature is the red-brick tower; completed about 1470 and surmounted by stone spires, the buttresses are laced with canopied image niches. On the north side there is a Tudor porch, but the south porch, the main entrance, was entirely refaced by the Victorians. However, the windows and corbels reveal it to be one of the earliest parts of the church, an early 14th-century addition of two storeys to the building that was then replaced in the late 15th century.[3]

Listed buildings[edit]

Stoke-by-Nayland's many listed buildings consist mainly of Grade II houses and cottages, mostly timber-framed and rendered with plain-tile roofs, although some are thatched or slated.

Thorington Hall, in a separate hamlet to the south-east of the village, is a 17th-century timber-framed and plastered house with much original detail. There are cross wings at the north-east and south-west ends, and a staircase wing rises to above eaves level on the south-east front. The north-east wing has a jettied gable on both fronts, carved bressummer and bargeboards. The south-west wing has an oriel window on the upper storey on the north-west side, on four shaped brackets. It also includes a jettied gable with carved bressummer and bargeboards. The windows are mostly mullioned and transomed casements with leaded lights, some with the original 17th-century fastenings. There are some original windows, blocked. On the south-east front includes a modern glazed door with an 18th-century door-case and a scroll pediment on brackets. There are two heavy chimney stacks, one finely done with 6 grouped octagonal shafts.

Downs Farmhouse, no longer used as such, dates from the early 16th century, with later extensions. It is timber-framed and rendered; with rear extensions partly faced in 19th-century red brick. Of two storeys and on a 3-cell plan, its roofs are plain-tiled with the original chimney-stack set externally on the rear wall of the hall, and a cross entry. The stack has been rebuilt in plain red brick.

Street House is in Church Street and has a plain-tile roof above timber-framed construction behind a render finish.

The Maltings, backing onto the churchyard, and the Old Guildhall, facing it across the road, each has exposed timber-framing and jettied fronts designed to be seen. Both these buildings are of four bays divided into tenements.

Historical writings[edit]

The village features in the 1868 National Gazetteer of Great Britain, volume 10, as:[4]

STOKE-BY-NAYLAND, a parish in the hundred of Babergh, county Suffolk, 1½ mile N.E. of Nayland, and 5 miles E. of Bures railway station. Colchester is its post town. The village, which was formerly a market town, is situated near the river Stour. The par. contains the chapelry of Leavenheath, and had a monastery endowed by the Saxon Earl of Algar, traces of which are still existing. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely, value £278. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient structure, with a tower and six bells. There is also a district church at Leavenheath, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £56. The parochial charities produce about £25 per annum, exclusive of some almshouses. £8 go towards Lady Windsor's hospital. There is a National school for both sexes. Tendring Hall is the principal residence.

In 1870–72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described the village as:[5]

STOKE-BY-NAYLAND, a parish, with a village, in Sudbury district, Suffolk; 1½ mile NE of Nayland, and 6 E by N of Bures r. station. It has a post-office under Colchester. Acres, 5,277. Real property, £9,299. Pop. in 1851, 1,406; in 1861, 1,275. Houses, 302. The decrease of pop. was caused partly by the closing of silk-mills. The property is divided among a few. Tendring Hall is the seat of Sir R. Rowley, Bart.; and Giffords Hall, of P. Mannock, Esq. A monastery was founded here by the Saxon Earl A1gar. The living is a vicarage the diocese of Ely. Value, £355.* Patron, Sir R.Rowley, Bart. The church is later English, with a lofty tower; and was restored in 1865. The p. curacy of Leavenheath is a separate benefice. There are a Roman Catholic chapel, a national school, alms houses, and other charities £25. Lord mayor Capel, ancestor of the Earl of Essex, was a native.

In 1887, John Bartholomew also wrote an entry on Stoke Nayland in the Gazetteer of the British Isles with a much shorter description:[6]

Stoke (by Nayland), par. and vil., Suffolk - par. 5277 ac., pop. 1150; vil., 2 miles NE. of Nay land and 6 miles E. of Bures; P.O.


Stoke-by-Nayland contains two schools, one primary, Stoke by Nayland Church of England Primary School,[7] and one independent school, OneSchool Global UK. The village hall was established in 1911 as the Stoke by Nayland Institute. Now a registered charity the hall is now a general meeting place and hosts variety of events. Stoke By Nayland Hotel Golf and Spa is home to a golf course with two 18 hole courses. The club hosts two international PGA Tour events; the Senior Tour[8] since 2006 and the EuroPro Tour[9] since 2004. James Andrews Golf School moved to Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa in 2018


The village is served by buses connecting it to Hadleigh, Polstead, Langham, Colchester, Ipswich, Sudbury, Leavenheath, and Great Horkesley.

Notable persons with connections to Stoke by Nayland[edit]

  • William Songer who travelled to Nelson, New Zealand on the Whitby as Captain Arthur Wakefield's servant, was born in the village of Stoke-by-Nayland, and suggested naming the township in New Zealand after his birthplace.
Charles Torlesse
  • Charles Torlesse (1825 – 14 November 1866) was born in Stoke-by-Nayland and was a prominent surveyor for the Canterbury Association in Canterbury, New Zealand. He returned to England due to ill health and died in 1866. He is buried in Stoke-by-Nayland.[10]
  • Rowley Baronets Rear-Admiral Sir Joshua Rowley, 1st Baronet (1 May 1734 – 26 February 1790) was a Royal Navy officer.
  • Joshua Francis Rowley, local politician and public servant: born 31 December 1920; Deputy Secretary, National Trust 1952–55; succeeded 1962 as seventh Bt; chairman, West Suffolk County Council 1971–74; vice-chairman, Suffolk County Council 1974–76, chairman 1976–78; Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk 1973–78, Lord-Lieutenant 1978–94; married 1959 The Hon Celia Monckton (one daughter); died Hadleigh, Suffolk 21 February 1997.
  • Charles Gerald Brocklebank fought in the First World War, where he was mentioned in despatches. He gained the rank of captain in the service of the Royal Engineers and decorated with the award of Médaille militaire. He also received the Military Cross (M.C.)
  • Lady Anne Windsor married Henry Windsor, 5th Baron Windsor, son of Edward Windsor, 3rd Baron Windsor, and Lady Katherine de Vere, daughter of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford. Henry Lord Windsor died in 1605, aged 43. Lady Anne Windsor died in 1615 and is buried in St Mary's Church.
Tomb of Lady Anne Windsor, St Mary's Church, Stoke-by-Nayland
  • Æthelflæd of Damerham Æthelflæd, known as Æthelflæd of Damerham was the second wife of King Edmund I of England.
  • David Hicks, interior designer
  • Ralph Agas (or Radulph Agas) (c. 1540 – 26 November 1621), English land surveyor, was born at Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk, about 1540, and entered upon the practice of his profession in 1566.
  • Edward Aggas (fl. 1564–1601)], bookseller, printer, translator, and son of Robert Aggas of Stoke by Nayland.
  • Sir William Capell, son of John Capell, held the office of Alderman of London and the office of Lord Mayor of London from 1503 to 1504 and 1509 to 1510.
  • Thomas St Lawrence, 11th Baron Howth (Earl of Howth) lived at Stoke by Nayland. He succeeded to the title of 11th Baron Howth in 1643.
  • George Webb (cricketer, born 1857)
  • Beryl Cook, OBE (1926 – 2008), English artist best known for her original and instantly recognisable paintings.

Pictures of Stoke by Nayland[edit]


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Electronic Sawyer S1483". Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Stoke-by-Nayland, St Mary - A Church Near You".
  4. ^ The National gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland /. London Virtue. 1868. hdl:2027/uiug.30112053400591.
  5. ^ "STOKE-BY-NAYLAND | As described in John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)". Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Stoke (by Nayland) | As described in John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887)". Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Home".
  8. ^ "European Senior Tour".
  9. ^ "PGA EuroPro Tour". europrotour.
  10. ^ "Charles Torlesse – 1825–1866". Waimakariri District Libraries. Archived from the original on 14 March 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2012.

External links[edit]