Columbine Hall previously Thorney Columbers

Sketched explanation for Columbine arms (ECA)

We are very grateful to Ena Carter for the notes she has left us relating to the history of Columbine Hall

Columbine Hall is now a private residence set in its own gardens and  park land and still has part of its moat. Originally it was a much larger building, what exists now is probably no more than the gatehouse range. The great hall has gone.

William Boby writing in the May 1937, East Anglian Magazine noted that the site of Columbine Hall ‘in the Parish of Stowupland is said to be about level with the top of the 200 feet high spire of the beautiful old Stowmarket Church.

For more about its history see the Halls own website.


Anciently held by Philip de Columbus (no Dates)

16th century owner Tyrell family (so also linked to Cotton, Gipping and Shelland).

 1559 owner John Gardiner d.1562 (so links to Winston)

1587 William Browne, brother of Earl of Monmouth

 Late 16th century owner  Robert Carey. On the death of his Queen he rode hurriedly to Edinburgh to tell the King of Scotland that he had become King James 1 of England

Columbine manor land in the 1600s

Image of a sketched map of the lands around Columbine Manor

 17th century

1611 Carey sold Columbyne Hall to Sir John Poley, a veteran of Elizabethan Spanish wars. John Poley of Badley (so links to Boxted, Somerton, Freston and Hartest)

1665 son of John Poley Esq

18th century

1711 the estate is sold to John Crawley, a rich iron merchant. His daughter married the 2nd Earl of Ashburnham. Ambrose Crawley (d1754)

1731, James Turner  ‘One piece of land … called or known by the name of COLLERBIN HALL GROVE, lying & being in Stowupland’ , Ena retrieved this from Ipswich record Office and she gave the reference HA1/DB/3/20.

1772, a map of  ‘Columbine Hall in Stowupland & Newton (joint estate of the Earl of Ashburnham & Charles Boone, Esq) 32 perches to 1 mile, showing field names, acr, buildings, wood, moat, ponds, roads, rights of way, adj owners & occupiers 9Joseph Pennington) HA1/HB4/1.

1844 to 1916 through marriage to Earl of Ashburnham (links to Combs) and let to tenants, notably Robert Boby.

In 1902 Emily  and Elizabeth moved with their parents (Robert and Elizabeth)  to the Chestnuts at Earl Stonham, then to Felixstowe before moving to stay with their niece Jessie Tagg in Oxford. Written when she was 85, you can read  Jessie Tagg’s memories of life at Columbine Hall.

In Ena Carter’s notes she queries whether the fields named in the tithe apportionments as Well Pightle (tm374), Little Park (tm375) and Dovehouse Pightle (tm 378) were the sites of an earlier dwelling.  She adds that Little park has 2 ponds and that  a local resident Bob Allum (?) says there were foundations there in 1940.

Land of Columbine Hall, date unknown
1914 plan of Columbyne Hall fields taken from Sale Document


20th century

in 1914 the farm and land was sold to the Potter family and for a time farnmed by Henry Potter.. In WW2 a school for training land army girls was set up, training around 40 girls (see images in trades and crafts)

In the 1940s the hall was listed in the Town & County Planning Act 1947: Section 30, Buildings of Special Architectural Interest or Historic Crown Properties.  Under the Civil Parish of Stowupland, 11/891 Columbine Hall owner: Ministry of Agriculture, fisheries and Food: occupier A. A. Rednall.

press cutting
Rogation Sunday Parade at Columbine Hall in the late 1940s

In the Christian calendar Rogation Sunday is the fifth Sunday after Easter when processions maybe held to give thanks for the produce of the land. This newspaper cutting was accompanied by a hand written note ‘cut this out of a magazine in the Navy League Club and have been showing it to my pals sho couldn’t beleive there was such a place as stowupland. Where are you?’article

In 1947 this short history of Columbyne Hall was printed in the Stowmarket Notebook as past of a longer peice on Stowupland. The author goes on to object to the ‘white unsightly bungalows standing in rows like railway carriages bewteen the the hall entrance drive and Thorney Green.’ (Columbine Bungalows and later Columbine Close were built on part of the Green).

newspaper cutting
Extract by 'St Osyth', July 25, 1947

In 1993 the Hall and 29 acres were bought by Hew and Leslie Stevenson