A community perspective from the 1840s to 1920s contains entries for the community from the Suffolk Directories of White (1844) and Kelly (1929) and William Dutt’s gazeteer of Suffolk (1927; first prepared in the 1890s)


HENSTEAD, a small village, 5.5 miles S.E. of Beccles, and 7 miles S.W.of Lowestoft, has in its parish 1920 acres of land, and 573 souls, including the hamlet of HULVER STREET,which has 293 inhabitants, and about 800 acres of land, and has usually been returned with Wangford Hundred, within the eastern boundary of which it is situated, though only a mile W. of Henstead church. In the Conqueror's time, the manor of Henstead was held by Robert de Pierpoint, and it continued in his family till 1340. It afterwards passed successively to the Cloptons, Sydnors, Brooks, and Holodays. Thomas Sherriffe, jun.,Esq.,(now a minor,) of Henstead Hall, a handsome mansion with pleasant grounds, is now lord of the manor, and patron of the Church (St.Mary) which was thoroughly repaired in 1842, and is a rectory, valued in K.B. at £12, and in 1835 at £423. His father, the Rev. Thomas Sheriffe, is the incumbent. Sir Thos.S.Gooch, Fredk. Barne, Esq., and a few smaller owners, have estates in the parish. The Wesleyans have a small chapel in Hulverstreet. About 2 acres of land, let for £3 a-year, and a yearly rent charge of 20s., are appropriated to the repairs of the church. In 1599, Henry Brandon left his tenement, and 3 roods of land, and directed the rent to be divided as follows - one half to the poor of Henstead; 6s.8d. of the other half to the poor of Rushmere, and the remainder to be applied towards the repairs of Henstead church. The tenement went to decay many years ago, and, about 1780, the land was let on lease for 99 years, at the annual rent of 17s., the lessee covenanting to erect a new cottage. On the enclosure of Sotterley Common, partly in this parish,) an allotment of 14A. was awarded to the poor of Henstead, and it is now let for £20 a-year, which is distributed in coals.

Marked * are in Hulverstreet, and the others in Henstead

*Butcher Charles, gardener
Candler Charles, blacksmith
*Clarke Rev Charles, curate
Fisk James, boot and shoe maker
*Fisk Edmund, vict. Gate
Gouldbv James, parish clerk
*Howell Mary, shopkeeper
*Julings Elizabeth, shopkeeper
King Wm. tailor
Mendham David,, boot & shoe maker
*Mills Jas. schoolr. and bookbinder
Newson Wm. wheelwright
Peak Elizabeth, beerhouse
*Pidgeon Wm. wheelwright
Sheriffe Rev Thos. rector; & Thos.jun. Esq. Henstead Hall

Andrews John Bates Robert
*Fisk Wm. Jepson Charles
Robinson Samuel Rouse Joseph
Sayer Wm. Smith Wm.


HENSTEAD is a village and parish, 5 miles southeast from Beccles station on the London and North Eastern railway and 7 miles south-west from Lowestoft, in the Lowestoft division of the county, Blything and Wangford hundred, Blything petty sessional division and union, Beccles and Bungay county court district, rural deanery of Beccles, archdeaconry of Suffolk and diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The church of St. Mary is a building of flint in the Perpendicular style, with a thatched roof, and consists of chancel, long nave, south porch and an embattled western tower containing one bell: the south porch has a Norman doorway, and there is a similar one on the north side: in the nave is a memorial window to Charles F. Sheriffs, d. 1874: there are 200 sittings. The register dates from the year 1307. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £437, with residence and 38 acres of glebe, in the gift of Mrs. Rowland V. Barker, and held since 1995 by the Rev. John Alfred Griffin. In the churchyard is a stone cross on which are inscribed the names of the men of the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18. The parish has a few small charities, part of which is distributed in coals to the poor. Henstead Hall, the property and residence of Thomas M. Farmiloe esq. is a large mansion, with extensive and beautifully laid out gardens. Thomas M. Farmiloe esq. is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is mixed; subsoil, various. The chief crops are wheat, barley, peas, beans and roots. The area is 1,953 acres of land and 6 of water; the population in 1921 was 468.

HULVERSTREET is a hamlet, 1.75 miles north-west from the church. Here is a Wesleyan chapel, built in 1840.

Post Office, Hulver. Letters through Beccles for Hulver, & Wrentham, via Beccles, for Henstead. Beccles is the nearest M. 0. office for Hulver & Wrentham for Henstead. North Cove is the nearest T. office for Hulver, & Wrentham for Henstead


Henstead church (5 m. S.E. of Beccles) has Norm. N. and S. doorways. Norm. work remains, too, in the nave. The church was considerably damaged by fire in 1641, when the chancel was destroyed: it has not been rebuilt. Hulver Street is a hamlet 1 m. N.W. of Henstead church. It probably derives its name from the " hulver " (holly), which is plentiful in the neighbourhood.