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Thelnetham is a village and civil parish in the West Suffolk district of Suffolk in eastern England. Located on the southern bank of the River Little Ouse (the Norfolk-Suffolk border), six miles west of Diss, in 2005 its population was 230. The village of Blo' Norton lies on the Norfolk side of the river. The name of the village derives from the Old English words "thel" which means a plank bridge, "elfitu" meaning swans and "hamm" meaning a meadow or enclosure. Hence the village is the "meadow with the plank bridge and the swans".
Blo' Norton and Thelnetham Fen
North of the village and along the river is the Blo' Norton and Thelnetham Fen Site of Special Scientific Interest, an important calcareous fen wetland site supporting a range of rare species such as black bog rush Schoenus nigricans and saw sedge Cladium mariscus plant species. The Little Ouse Headwaters Project manages part of this area as well as surrounding wetland areas such as Hinderclay Fen and Suffolk Wildlife Trust also has a reserve on part of the site.
Bugg's Hole Fen SSSI
The 4 hectares (9.9 acres) Bugg's Hole Fen SSSI is located west of the village. This is a spring fed area of fen with a wide range of habitats and flora including uncommon plant species such as common butterwort Pinguicula vulgaris, bog pimpernel Anagallis tenella and adder’s tongue fern Ophioglossum vulgatum.
Church of St. Nicholas
Dating from the 14th century, it is said to have been built by Edmund Gonville, founder of Gonville Hall, later Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, who was rector here from 1320–1326. Many older features remain including a simple octagonal font, the doorways and stairs to the rood loft behind the pulpit, a 14th century arcade, and arches with octagonal piers and quarter-round mouldings. The chancel and south aisle both have medieval stone altars with recut consecration crosses which were reinstated during the 1895 restoration. Other notable features include a small brass with an inscription below it to Anne Caley (around 1500) on the large squint at the south-east end of the nave. On the south wall of the aisle an alabaster and marble monument to Henry Buckenham (died 1648) and Dorothy his wife (died 1645) can be found and on the north wall of the nave is an 18th century wooden panel with the Flight into Egypt carved in high relief (probably Italian).
Lodge Farm, Thelnetham
Lodge Farm (now called Thelnetham House) was built in 1699 and was the subject of a book by the British author and critic John Middleton Murry. His book, Community Farm was an account of his time at Lodge Farm during the Second World War when he ran the farm as a commune for conscientious objectors.
Thelnetham Vineyard is a 3-acre (1.2 ha) vineyard on the banks of the Little Ouse which was planted in 1985 and which produces sparkling white wine.
A 16th century stone cross located to the west of the village near the junction of Hopton Road and Mill Road, an area formerly known as Cross Green. Only several blocks of ashlar, forming the base and a small part of the shaft, remain in the orchard belonging to The Evergreen Oak, the early 16th century former public house. Moved from fields to its present location, the original site of the Trappetes' Cross has not been identified.
The cross was bequeathed to the village by John Cole of Thelnetham in his will of 1527 in which he gave the instruction “Item 1. I will have a new crosse made accordinge to Trappetes' Crosse at the Hawelanesende and sett upp at Short Groves ende, where the Gospell ys sayde upon Ascension Even, for which I assigne xs" (10 shillings). He further directed that a certain farm-rent should be applied yearly to the purpose of providing “a bushel and halffe of malte to be browne, and a bushel of whete to be baked to fynde a drinkinge upon Ascension Even everlasting for ye parishe of Thelnetham to drinke at the Cross of Trappetes”.
Reference to the cross can still be found in the names of nearby dwellings such as Trappetes Cross Cottages and Cross Green Farm.
- Estimates of Total Population of Areas in Suffolk Archived 2008-12-19 at the Wayback Machine Suffolk County Council
- A Popular Guide to Suffolk Place Names by James Rye published in 1997 by The Larks Press
- Blo' Norton and Thelnetham Fen, SSSI citation, Natural England. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
- Our sites, Little Ouse Headwaters Project. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
- Thelnetham Fen Archived 2013-02-18 at the Wayback Machine, Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
- Bugg's Hole Fen, Thelnetham, SSSI citation, Natural England. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
- "St.Nicholas, Thelnetham". The United Benefice Of Stanton. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- England, Historic. "CHURCH OF ST NICHOLAS, Thelnetham - 1194457 | Historic England". historicengland.org.uk. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- Community Farm by John Middleton Murry published in 1953 by The Country Book Club
- Thelnetham Windmill, Suffolk Mills Group. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
- "East Anglia". English Wine Producers. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- England, Historic. "REMAINS OF CROSS IN GARDEN TO THE WEST OF EVERGREEN OAK, Thelnetham - 1031203 | Historic England". historicengland.org.uk. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
- England, Historic. "THE EVERGREEN OAK, Thelnetham - 1285624 | Historic England". historicengland.org.uk. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
- Suffolk Heritage Explorer https://heritage.suffolk.gov.uk/hbsmr-web/record.aspx?UID=MSF10706-Evergreen-Oak&pageid=16&mid=9 Retrieved 2019-02-27.
- "The Project Gutenberg eBook of British Popular Customs Present and Past, by T. F. Thistelton Dyer". www.gutenberg.org. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
Media related to Thelnetham at Wikimedia Commons