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Whatfield village sign - geograph.org.uk - 588434.jpg
Village sign
Whatfield is located in Suffolk
Location within Suffolk
Population335 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceTM025464
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townIpswich
Postcode districtIP7
AmbulanceEast of England
List of places
52°04′44″N 0°57′14″E / 52.079°N 0.954°E / 52.079; 0.954Coordinates: 52°04′44″N 0°57′14″E / 52.079°N 0.954°E / 52.079; 0.954

Whatfield is a village and civil parish in Suffolk, England. Located around 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Hadleigh, it is part of Babergh district.

Origin of name[edit]

Skeat, in his 1913 The Place-Names of Suffolk, says this:

Spelt Whatefield, Ipm.; Quaterfield, H.R (with qu for wh); Gawatfelda, D.B. p.23. A.S. form Hwaete-feld; meaning "wheat field." Though A.S. has not this precise compound on record, we find hwaeteland, "wheat-land" and feld as a suffix. Whatfield was sometimes called Wheatfield (see The Beauties of England). "This Town is chiefly remarkable for growing the most excellent Seed-Wheat"; Kirby. [2]


The Calves Wood, a County Wildlife Site (CWS) in the north of the parish, is classed as ancient woodland, whilst the parish's south-western border is delineated by the River Brett. The parish council holds two meadows and a piece of rough woodland in trust for the villagers. The woodland is on the left-hand side of a pleasant walk down to the river.

The first meadow, known as Buckle's Meadow, or Buckledees Meadow by some older parishioners, was purchased in the 1960s with money raised in the village and a grant. Access to the site, which is a county wildlife site, is by public footpath from Rectory Road.

The second meadow, also accessible by public footpath, is Hunty's Vale and was the kind gift to the village by the sisters Edith and Francis Vale who were parishioners. A programme of conservation is on-going to maintain and improve the area for plants, animals and birds as well as being a pleasant place to walk.

The village was awarded the title Suffolk Village of the Year 2014 in a competition organised by the Suffolk Association of Local Councils, Radio Suffolk, East Anglian Daily Times and Network Power, to acknowledge the community spirit amongst the residents of this small village and how Whatfield CEVCP School integrates with the village.

St Margaret's Church[edit]

St Margaret's Church

The parish church of St Margaret a small church, dating from the 13th and 14th century, now faced in stucco. It has a plain west tower with a later-added pyramid tiled roof. The nave and chancel roofs are also tiled. The south porch dates from the 16th century and is of red brick, with a stopped gable on the front. The interior has a fine king post roof with brackets, moulded shafts and capitals. There are some pews dating from the 16th and 17th century on the north side, one with the date 1589. The communion rail and west gallery, which had turned balusters, are probably early C18th-century. The pulpit, which has a tester, is 16th- or 17th-century. The church has been a Grade I listed building since 23 January 1958.[3]

The south wall has a commemorative plaque to George Arthur Falconer (1894-1981), who was H. M. Ambassador to Nepal and High Sheriff of Suffolk. There is also a large marble memorial plaque, inscribes if Latin, to William Vesey who died on 21 June 1699 aged 50 and his wife Elizabeth. At the rear of the church is a large coat of arms for Vesey. There is also a large marble plaque to George Clubbe, Rector of Whatfield, and father of John Clubbe.

The benches are mostly Victorian, but one at least dates from 1589 and is engraved with the name "John Wilson".

Whatfield Hall[edit]

Whatfield Hall is a timber-framed and plastered two-story building, possibly of the 16th or 17th century. It has been much altered. The main block faces south-east and at the rear a wing extends to the north-west. Since 10 July 2008 it has been a Grade II {listed building.[4]

There is a three-window range, of double-hung sashes with glazing bars, on the south-east front. The ground storey, faced in red brick, may possibly have been an underbuilding for a formerly jettied upper storey. Other windows are mainly casements. The north-west wing has one gabled dormer. There are two ridge chimney stacks and one tall internal stack.[4]

Other amenities[edit]

Watfield Salvation Army Hall is situated along The Street. It has well-supported weekly Sunday services, regular coffee mornings and get-togethers.

Whatfield United Reformed Church is also located on The Street, near the Village Green. Services are held every other month. The chapel may also used for occasional meetings.[5]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  2. ^ Skeat, Walter (1913). The Place-Names of Suffolk. Cambridge: Cambridge Antiquarian Society. p. 30.
  3. ^ "Church of St Margaret - Whatfield - Suffolk - England - British Listed Buildings". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Whatfield Hall - Whatfield - Suffolk - England - British Listed Buildings". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Churches". whatfield.onesuffolk.net. Retrieved 16 September 2016.

External links[edit]

Media related to Whatfield at Wikimedia Commons