Saint Thomas Hall

From research by Neil Langridge (02/2020)

The will of Thomas Blackerby, Lord of the Manor in 1687 bequeathed,

‘all that Capitall Messuage of farme called Saint Thomas Hall alias Browne Baston or by whatever name or names the same bee called or knowne with the lands meadows pastures underwoods and other the Appurtenances containing together one hundread and forty Acres’.

No house by either of the above names exist today but Neil conjectures that St Thomas Hall may have been the precursor to Stowupland Hall. The farm must have been to the north of Thorney as ‘the estate extended into the  neighbouring parishes of Mendelsham and Gipping.By 1801 Stowupland Hall was built as the manor house of the manors of Thorney Campsey and Thorney Kebles, so there must have been an earlier manor house.

The manor of Thorney Campsey had been owned in pre reformation times by the nunnery of Campsey Ash. The nunnery also housed a college of chantry priests dedicated to St Thomas the Martyr (Thomas Becket). The chantry priests’ were to pray for the souls of Robert and William Ufford. The Uffords had been lords of the manor of Thorney Hall (the main Stowupland manor). Neil continues that the manor of Thorney Campsey had been gifted to the nuns of Campsey Ash by the Uffords out of  land that was formerly part of their large Thorney Hall manor with the rents being used to maintain the chantry.(NL)

Ena Carter, a local historian, recorded that in 1820 Does House was somewhere near Stowupland Hall but this was demolished by the Freeman’s. There may have been an association with the Cooper family. She added that Stowupland  Hall was Georgian but there may have been traces of an older house still remaining in the cellar. Ena’s father-in-law owned the hall during the 1930s and 40s and  family tradition said that an earlier house had stood where the Rook plantation was.