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)


RUMBURGH, a scattered village and parish, 4 miles N.N.W. of Halesworth, and 6.5 miles S. of Bungay, contains 435 souls, and 1370 acres of land, rising boldly between two tributary streams of the Blythe, and including about half of a Green, or common, of about 100 acres, which is partly in Wissett, and in which the copyholders are allowed to turn 109 head of cattle. The executors of the late Mrs. Weebing are lords of the manor, but a great part of the soil belongs to Mr. John Grimsey, Mr. J. Manby, W. Adair, Esq., Mr. G. Calver, Mr. C. Holmes, Mr. Thomas Ling, and several smaller fee and copyholders. The latter pay arbitrary fines. Here was a Benedictine Priory, founded about 1065, by the monks of Hulme, and dedicated to St. Michael and St. Felix. Stephen, Earl of Brittany, made it a cell to St. Mary's Abbey, in York. It was suppressed and given to Cardinal Wolsey, towards the endowment of his college, in Ipswich, in 1528, when it was valued at .£10. 12s. l l d. It was afterwards the property of the Earls of Oxford, and passed from them to the Cobbold, Jessup, and other families. Some traces of it may be seen in the Abbey farm-house which occupies its site. The Church, (St Michael) which adjoined the priory, is an ancient structure, which has undergone many reparations, and has a short tower, with a spiral roof. the benefice is a perpetual curacy, valued in 1835, at £130, with the vicarage of South Elmham St. Michael annexed to it. The Rev. Lomb Atthill, of Halesworth, is patron and incumbent. G. Durrant, Esq., isimpropriator of part of the great tithes, and the remainder belong to the landowners. The Wesleyans have a neat chapel here, built in 1836. The Town Estate was conveyed to new trustees, in 1758, and again in 1826, upon trust that the rents should be yearly disposed of for such use and advantage of the parish, as the trustees should judge " necessary and convenient," except the rent of l4A., called Warpullocks, which should be disposed of towards discharging all tenths aid fifteenths imposed on the parishioners, and the overplus, if any, be divided among the poor. This estate comprises a messuage, etc. called the Bears, and 18A. of land in Southelmham St. Peter ; a close 14A, called Warpullocks ; a close of 7A., in Southelmham St Michael; and a close of 5A., at Spexhall. The rents produce about £45 per annum, and are dispensed partly for the reparation of the church, and the support of a Sunday-school, and partly in distributions of coals to poor parishioners. The Rev. J. B. Wilkinson , Rev. John Holmes, James Garrould, Edgar Woolward, and J. Howlett are the trustees. The churchwardens and overseers are trustees of the following property,viz., the Buck Inn, let for £15 per annum; the Town House Cottage, let for £8. 15s. 6d. ; the Town Pightle, let for £2. 2s.; the Acre Piece, let for 5s.; and a yearly rent-charge of 3s. 4d. out of Daniel Sayer's Mill. The rents are applied in aid of the church and poor rates, and other general expenses of the parish. 1t is not known how the property was acquired.

Aldous Samuel, butcher
Alexander James, bricklayer
Baker David, shoemaker
Ball Wm. vict. Buck Inn
Blowers John, schoolmr. & par. clerk
Chipperfield Richard & Chas. tailors and shopkeepers
Cbipperfield Wm. tailor
Cracknell Thomas, maltster; house, Halesworth
Garrud Wm. joiner
Green Matthew, wheelwright
Green Oakley John, coach builder
Green Robert, blacksmith
Ling Mr Frederick Smith, Abbey
Rodwell James, beerhouse
Sadler Wm. shoemaker
Sayer Daniel, corn miller
Winter Wm. blacksmith

Banks Wm.
Bowler A..
Butcher Wm.
Calver Samuel
Garwood Wm.


RUMBURGH is a parish and village, 5 miles southeast from Homersfield station on the Waveney Valley branch of the London and North Eastern railway, 4 north-west from Halesworth and 6 south from Bungay, in the Eye division of the county, Blything hundred, union and petty sessional division, Halesworth and Saxmundham county court district, rural deanery of North Dnnwich, archdeaconry of Suffolk and diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The church of St. Michael and St. Felix is an old and curiously built edifice of flint, in mixed styles, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and a low western tower containing 5 bells: there are 130 sittings. The register dates from the year 1555. The living is a vicarage, consolidated with that of South Elmham St. Michael, joint net yearly value £75, with residence, in the gift of the. representatives of the late Rev. Percival Frost M.A, formerly vicar (1868-77), and held since 1895 by the Rev. William Linton Wilson M.A. of St. John's College, Cambridge, who resides in that part of Rumburgh village which is within the parish of All Saints, South Elmham. The church, stands in what was a Roman camp, and is still surrounded by the Roman fosse. There is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel here. Here was formerly a priory of the Benedictine order, first founded by the monks of Hulme Abbey in 1064, as a cell to that house, and afterwards transferred by Stephen or Alan, Earl of Richmond and Bretagne, to the abbey of St. Maryat, York; it was dedicated to St. Michael and St. Felix, and at the Dissolution was valued at £10; the tower remains: in the church there is a list of the Priors from 1064 to the Dissolution under Cardinal Wolsey in September, 1528, and a list of the vicars from 1559 to the present day. The town lands consist of 47 acres, which, together with other property, yield about £83 yearly; these funds are applied to the repair of the church and coals for the poor. The chief landowner is Sir Robert Shafto bart. D.L., J. P. The soil is clay, with subsoil of clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley, beans and turnips. The area is 1,538 acres; the population in 1921 was 293 in the civil and 419 in the ecclesiastical parish.

Parish Clerk, George Holland.
Post & T. Office. Letters through Halesworth, which is the nearest M. O. office.


Rumburgh (4 m. N.W. of Halesworth).Between 1064 and 1070 a monastery was founded here by the monks of St Benet's Abbey in Norfolk, and afterwards given as a cell to the abbey of St Mary at York by Alan le Noir, Earl of Richmond and Bretagne. In 1528 the Abbot of York complained that officers of Cardinal Wolsey had visited Rumburgh Priory and plundered it; but in spite of his complaint the priory was annexed to Wolsey's college at Ipswich. The church here is of interest on account of its possessing the remains of a fine E.E. tower with a W. doorway and three lancets.