Aspects of Thorney in Medieval Times

For obvious reasons our knowledge of what was happening here during the medieval era is limited but  we know a few bits. These snippets will be posted here for safe keeping and added to as we learn more and are able to connect people and places.

AD 1066 to 1086.From Hollingsworth, Chap 12. re Uptown or Land

Hugh de Montford was Lord of Uptown or Land. 3 freedmen of Gutmund held 63 acres, as tenants. Although previously 3 cottages there was mow but 1. There was 1 mill.The Manor of Thorney extended to Thorney Green. Thornea was 3 miles long and 3 broad embracing the ‘greater part of both Stowmarket and Stowupland present parishes’.

A.D 1212 .Willelmns de Bretun et Robertus de Munteni et heres Ricardi de Munficher et heres Odinel de Unfran(u)vill tenent THORNEI quam Henricu proavus  {Grandfather} tenuit in dominico suo, et illam dedit Ricardo de Luci, sed nescitir quod servicum. {ECA The Book of Fees p135)

There are records that show the area where Elm Farm stands has been lived on since at least  1327, and its  first recorded name was Dego Farm.

In the early 1400’s the land was owned  by the De Gonyy family. This name is of Norman origin.The house was later known as Dager or Dagger House.

The building by the side of the main house may still contain some remnants from medieval times, and although it has been used for various purposes through the years it also shows signs that it was used as a dwelling house.


1327 Subsidy names Adam Sponman in Thorney.

A will of 1466 of Thomas Dego of Thorney  Hamlet (see Elm farm) ‘to son John tenements & all lands pertaining & a close called Sponmays’ {ECA}.

See also Sponmans Farm

The manor of Thorney has had various names to distinguish it from other manors, eg in 1300 it can be found as Thorney Green Manor, Thornea, Thorne or Thorney with Thorney Hamlet. Although the manor of Thornea had the largest population in the hundred it carried on no commerce with places beyond the sea being agricultural only.

A few artifacts have found their way to Ipswich Museum:

13th century pottery, including part of a cooking part were found during the demolition of The Croft farmhouse (along the A1120) . {IPSMG :R.1970-81}

A late 14th century iron dagger, 11 inches long {IPSMG R.1962- 132}.

A conical lead weight (much oxidised) thought to be a medieval builders plummet {IPSMG:R. 1930-215}.

From the 15th century, 3 fragments of a handle (Hedingham ware) were found in ploughed soil at Grange farm. { IPSMG:R. 1963-94}.