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)


WESTHALL, a small village, 3 miles N.E. of Halesworth, has in its parish 412 inhabitants, 2194 acres of land, and many scattered houses, stretching more than two miles N.W. of the church to the source of a rivulet ; and mostly situated on the margins of four greens or commons, which comprise 125 acres, on which all the parishioners have a right of pasturage, according to the extent of their farms. Robert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, had a grant of the manor in the 13th of Henry III. From the reign of Henry VIII. till the latter part of last century, it was held by the Bohun family, one of whom, Edmd. Bohun, Esq., who resided here, was a voluminous writer of the 17th century. The most noted of his works were, a Geographical Dictionary, and a History of King James the Second's Desertion. Wm. Adair, Esq., is now lord of the manor, but a great part of the soil belongs to Peter Foster, Esq., Thos. Farr, Esq., the Rev. - White, and the Penrose, Tacon, Manning, Carlos, Newson, and other families. The Church (St. Andrew) is a small ancient structure, with a tower and five bells. The prior and convent of Norwich bought the advowson and the appropriation of Humberstone Abbey, Lincolnshire. The Dean and Chapter of Norwich are now appropriators of the rectory, and patrons of the vicarage, valued in K.B. at £10. 2s. 3d., and in 1835 at £195, and now enjoyed by the Rev. Richard Mathews. The rectorial tithes have been commuted for £478. 10s., and the vicarial for £150 per annum. A cottage and two acres of land, let for £9, and two ground rents, amounting to 6s. per annum, have been vested for a long period for the repairs of the church. The parish has also two yearly rent-charges of £l. 6s. and £1. 12s., left by the Rev. Gregory Clarke, and Ann his wife, in 1717 and 1726, for schooling poor children. They are paid to a schoolmistress, for teaching five children to read.

Marked 1, live on Bacon Common ; 2, Cox Green ; 3, Mill Common ; and 4, Nethergate Green.
Beddingfield Cornelius, tailor
3 Blaxhill Samuel, corn miller
3 Boyles Saml. vict. Greyhound
3 Boyles James, shoemaker
3 Coleby Joseph, shoemaker
3 Cornish Joshua, tinner & blacksmth
Fisk Fras. brewer& vict.Race Horse
Fisk John, parish clerk
2 Green Wm. wheelwright
3 Miller Edmund, wheelwright
Offord Wm. blacksmith

Bates John ( & surveyor)
3 Clerk Robert
3 Crisp Ellis
3 Davy John
3 Davy Emily
2 Driver Henry
3 Ellis James
2 Fuller Wm.
2 Green Wm.
3 Greenard Geo.
4 Greenwood Ann
3 Haddingham W
2 HammondSml.
3 Lemon Robert
3 Newbery Jno.
4 Newbery Geo.
3 Newson Isaac
3 Norman Isaac
3 Pedgrift John
4 RackhamRoger
2 Sallows Thos.
Spelman Isaac,Westhall Hall


WESTHALL is a village and parish, 3.5 miles northeast from Halesworth station and 2.5 from Brampton station, on the Ipswich and Lowestoft section of the London and North Eastern railway, in the Eye division of the county, Blything union, petty sessional division and hundred, Halesworth and Saxmundham county court district, rural deanery of North Dunwich, archdeaconry of Suffolk and diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The church of St. Andrew is a structure of flint in the Gothic style, and consists of Decorated chancel, Perpendicular nave, south aisle, in the arcade of which is a fine Norman arch, north porch and a Perpendicular embattled tower at the west end of the aisle containing 5 bells: at the west end is a recessed Norman doorway: the font is an octagon and has representations of the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church carved on the sides: there is a brass and other memorials to the Bohun family, dated 1602, and remains of a carved and painted chancel screen and of carved oak benches: the nave roof is thatched: the chancel was restored in 1882: there are 300 sittings. The register dates from the year 1559. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £350, including 62 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Norwich, and held since 1917 by the Rev. James Fitt B.A. of Hatfield Hall, Durham. The Primitive Methodist chapel here was built in 1878, and enlarged in 1898. The old Hall was the residence for fourteen years of Edmund Bohun, a celebrated political and historical writer and antiquary in the time of James II. William III. and Queen Anne, and descended from Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, Essex and Northampton; he was born at Ringsfield, near Beccles, 12 March, 1644-5, and died in S Carolina, of which he had been appointed Chief Justice, 5 Oct. 1699: the Hall was rebuilt about 1860, and now belongs to the Earl of Stradbroke K.C.M.G., C.B., C.T.O., C.B.E. Sir Robert Shafto Adair bart. D.L., J.P. who is lord of the manor, the Earl of Stradbroke and the exors. of the Rev. R. J. Tacon M.A. are the principal landowners. The soil is principally clay; subsoil, the same. The chief crops are wheat, barley and beans. The area is 2,318 acres; the population in 1921 was 387.

Parish Sexton, James Woolnongh. Letters through Holton, Halesworth, Suffolk. The nearest M. 0. & T.offices are at Halesworth & Wangford.


Westhall church (2 and a half m. from Brampton).-The chancel and nave are Dec., the aisle Perp., and a Perp. tower is built around a Norm. doorway. The aisle is supposed to have been a chapel of the lords of the manor of West Hall: the Norm. mouldings of the doorways point to its having been originally built early in the twelfth century. It was rebuilt by the Bohuns of West Hall. Over the W. door is an arcade of three arches, the centre one being splayed internally for a light. The chancel has a fine E. window, and side windows with good flowing tracery. One window is specially interesting in having mixed geometrical and flowing tracery. The font is worthy of attention. The lower panels of a painted screen remain: the details of some of the figures are interesting. In this church are buried several of the Bohuns, including Nicholas Bohun ( 602), who married Audrey, sister of Lord Chief-Justice Coke. A brass tablet traces his descent from Thos. Plantagenet, Duke of Buckingham and Gloucester. The old Hall, the seat of the Bohuns, was partly demolished and rebuilt about 1860. In this parish there is a remarkable earthwork, consisting of a large square yard or court surrounded by a deep wide moat and an outer moat. Adjoining it there are traces of other ancient enclosures. In the reign of Henry III. this manor belonged to Robert de Burgh, Earl of Kent.