Church of St Mary & St Lambert
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Stonham Aspal is a village and civil parish in the Mid Suffolk district of Suffolk in eastern England, about five miles (8 km) east of the town of Stowmarket. Surrounding villages include Mickfield, Little Stonham and Pettaugh. Its population in 2011 was 601. The village has a primary school. It is set in farmland but has a busy main road, A1120, running through the village.
The village dates back to the Roman hypocaust period. The name of Stonham Aspal in the 13th century translates directly as "Stone Homestead". Many of the houses in the village are from the 14th and 15th centuries. The main occupation for men, according to census data from 1881, was agriculture.
Stonham Aspal is mentioned in Domesday Book as "Estuna", in the Bosmere hundred of Suffolk. It held 2 villagers, 4 smallholders and 11 free men. One-and-a-half lord's plough teams and two men's plough teams are also mentioned. It has a meadow of 7 acres, woodland of 80 pigs, a church and 0.11 church lands. In 1066 the lord was Aelmer. In 1086 the lord was Miles de Belefol.
Stonham Aspal has undergone many boundary changes over time. It was part of the Bosmere registration district until 1935. When this was abolished, it joined the Gipping registration district, transferring a population of 14,427 in total from the Bosmere registration district. In 1983, Gipping too was abolished and Stonham Aspal joined Gipping and Hartismere registration district until 2010, when it became part of the Suffolk registration district.
Census data for Stonham Aspal dates back to 1801. The earliest recorded population, from that time, was 578. The highest figure to be recorded by a census was 814 in 1851, and the lowest was 418 in 1961.
In the 1870s, Stonham Aspal was described as:
- "STONHAM-ASPALL, a parish, with a village, in Bosmere district, Suffolk; 4½ miles NE of Needham-Market r[ailway]. station. It has a post-office under Ipswich. Acres, 2,399. Real property, £4,957. Pop. in 1851, 814; in 1861, 694. Houses, 156."
Agriculture, the main industry recorded for the village in 1881, accounted for about 39 per cent of employment. This sank to 6 per cent by 1961, in line with a general British shift from primary work to the secondary and tertiary sectors. This also explains why the highest percentage of employment today is around 14 per cent for manufacturing.
On the graph for 1881 occupational orders, the highest number of males worked in agriculture; the equivalent figure for females is unknown. This could be explained by many being housewives and not expected to work in that period, as the next highest proportion of employment is domestic work.
Housing and transport
Stonham Aspal is in the Stonhams District ward and described by the Office for National Statistics as a "village surrounded by inhabited countryside". The main housing types are detached, semi-detached, flats and terraced, with housing ownership being private and social housing. The average house price sale for the area in the period from August 2013 to January 2014 was £221,458.33, the majority being detached, at an average price of £265,800.
Stonham Aspal Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School caters for ages 5–11. It had 189 pupils on its roll in the school year September 2013–July 2014. The school gained a total of 97 per cent of students in 2013 achieving Level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths, which was an improvement of 7 per cent over the previous year. A school inspection by Ofsted on 15 January 2013 rated the school "Good".
The nearest railway station is at Stowmarket, 2.91 km (1.81 miles) from the village centre. Other stations close by include Needham Market (6.20 km) and Elmswell (8.93 km). There is two public bus services serving the village. The Simonds route 114 runs between Ipswich and Diss. The Galloway European Coachlines route 115 runs between Wetheringsett and Ipswich. Both run on Mondays to Saturdays. This is no Sunday bus service at present.
Places of interest and organisations
The former Ten Bells Inn is one of 45 Grade II Listed Buildings in Stonham Aspal, listed on 26 March 1987. It dates back as an inn to the late 18th century. The building was extended in the mid-19th century and again in the mid-20th century. The Ten Bells re-opened at the end of 2014 as Casa Mexico, a shop specialising in products from Mexico. 
St Mary and St Lambert Church: The only church in the village, the St Mary and St Lambert is an Anglican church. In 1742 Theodore Eccleston, the local squire, replaced the ring of five bells with one of ten and the bell chamber was built to house them. This explains why the bell chamber is a separate structure to the church and is also thought to be where the local public house got its name from. Within the church there is very little coloured glass and here are medieval fragments in the aisle and the two easternmost clerestory windows. The St Lambert of the church's name does not derive from Saint Lambert, but from the name of the Lambert family, owners of the Manor.
Suffolk Owl Sanctuary: Supported by voluntary donations and admission charges, the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary established as a registered charity in 2001. It is currently open to the public all year round and holds over 80 raptors at the centre. It claims it "operates a comprehensive facility for the care & rehabilitation of owls from the region, and the promotion of owl conservation throughout the UK and beyond."
The Stonham Aspal Women's Institute, founded in 1923, currently has about eight members. Through the Suffolk East Federation of Women's Institutes, it is affiliated to the National Federation of Women's Institutes, the UK's largest voluntary organisation for women.
Stonham Barns is a leisure and retail facility with free entry currently including fishing lakes, crazy golf, a beauty salon, Aquatics and Reptile Centre, clothes shops and restaurants. It hosts the mid and west-Suffolk show, which consists of arena demonstrations and displays, steam and classic car exhibitors and a range of stalls.
Stonham Aspal Football Club was founded in 1959 out of the Stonham Aspal School old pupils' club. It entered the Ipswich and District League Division 3 in the 1960/61 season. The League is now the Suffolk and Ipswich League. At the beginning of the 1970/71 season a reserve team was formed and entered into division 5. The club is currently sponsored by Stonham Barns.
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