Monument record CHW 004 - The Grange; Mill Hall (c1840)

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An irregular island - documentary evidence suggests that there was a substantial house on the island.


Grid reference Centred TL 9795 4792 (101m by 99m)
Map sheet TL94NE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

An irregular island of 1.26 acres with the River Brett on its south side and a water-filled ditch (recently recut by the owner) on its north side. A large sunken area, embanked on the south and east sides, occupies most of the southern half of the island. A large amount of pin tile was noted just beyond the NW corner of this hollow. Vegetational cover of rough grass, shrubs and trees. Island adjoins the west side of Chelsworth churchyard. Another more irregular and lower island lies to the south.
Documentary evidence suggests that there was a substantial house on the island:-
Circa 1605: `No mention where the mannour house stoode. Yet at the west end of the churche appeareth the seate of a most ancient house environed with ditches or moates according to the forme of antiquitie/with some ruines or visible foundations yet permanent. Unto which house somtyme did belonge a parke therunto adiacent... For the house, the modern tradition affirmeth that the l Duke of Norff' of the name of the Howardes took it downe and set it up in Stoke Parke (Stoke-by-Nayland)' (S1).
1764: `On a rising ground near the church are the remains of the foundation of a stone building, which appear to have been very large, and to have been encompassed by the river' (S2).
Placenames `le Mote and Hall Garden' recorded in this area in the 16th century court rolls (S3).
Manor of Chelsworth belonged to the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, but was leased out to Benedict de Blakenham in 1198. Several generations of the knightly Blakenham family lived here until 1302 when another Benedict conveyed the manor to Hugh de St Philibert, subject to the life interest of his kinsman, Thomas Blakenham, formerly Steward of the Liberty of St Edmund. In 1351 John de St Philibert released the manor to Sir Richard de Plays, husband of his sister, Margery. The last resident medieval lord, Sir John de Plays died in 1389. His only daughter married Sir John Howard. From the Howards the manor passed by marriage in the early C15 to the de Veres, Earls of Oxford (S3).
Apparently `The Upper Mill' a fulling mill, stook in or near the orchard of The Grange `which is called Mill Hill' (S3) - see CHW 007.
Plot named as 'Mill Hall [or Hill - check]' in tithe (S5, plot 92).
Seems likely that the island is the site of the manor house of the de Blakenhams/St Philiberts and Plays and that there was also a mill in the same area, perhaps at the weir to the south of the island.

1066/1086 Manor of 3 1/2 carucates belongs to Abbot of St Edmunds.
1527 Sir Anthony Wingfield owns, linked to many manors in Suffolk.
1609 Sir R. Naunton owns, linked to HSK, KBA.
1655 R. Maryott owns linked to HSK, BFD, WBG.
Parliamentary survey 1652/3 in P.R.O.
1675 T. Knight owns.
1694 E. Jenney owns, linked to BFD, DEB.
1737 R. Pocklington owns, linked to WHA. (S6)

This is no longer standing, the manor was rebuilt at TL 9823 4761. (S6)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <S1> (No record type): MacCullock, D.N.J.. MacCulloch D N J, The Chorography of Suffolk, Suffolk Record Soc vol XIX, 1976, 36 & 105.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: field report form & annotated map.
  • <S2> (No record type): Canning R (ed), John Kirby's Suffolk Traveller, 2nd edition, 1764, 270.
  • <S3> (No record type): Pocklington G R, Chelsworth: The Story of a Little Suffolk Village, priv. pted 1956, 19, 20-22, 101.
  • <S4> (No record type): Excursions 1982, PSIA 35, 1983, (3), 243.
  • <S5> Map: 1840. Chelsworth Tithe Map and Apportionment. SRO (B), T98/1,2.
  • <S6> Suffolk County Historic Environment Record: Suffolk County Council Sites and Monuments Record: Chelsworth.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Apr 10 2019 10:18AM

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