22 Villages history
The content below is an extract from the book 22 villages produced in the year 2000.
The Church School at Barton Mills
The school was built in 1845 and was closed in 1939. It consisted of one large classroom and one small one with entrances on either side - one for the boys and one for the girls. During the war it was used as accommodation for the Army. In 1949 my late husband and I bought it from the church in order to convert it to a single storey house. The small classroom was made into a kitchen and a dining room; the large one into a lounge and two bedrooms.
Two extra rooms were built on either side for a bedroom and a study and the porches became a bathroom and an entrance hall. The four archways which led to the playground now led to the garden. As they were a feature of the house we called our new home "The Arches", not "The Old School" as expected by the locals. We moved in with our twin children in 1950 and spent twenty-three happy years there. My husband died in 1972 and I sold the property in 1973.
Barton Mills W.I.
W.I. Barton Mills was formed in 1958 and meets in the Village Hall on the second Tuesday of each month at 7.30 pm. Their meetings include speakers on a variety of subjects and activities include outing to theatres and places of interest. They also have a Drama Group who performs at W.I. events.
The W.I. is non-sectarian and non-party political and is actively involved in the social, environmental and consumer issues of the day.
Barton Mills Football Club
After playing for a short while by Fiveways Roundabout, where the current Little Chef is situated, the Club moved to the Browns Farm Meadows on the Tuddenham Road. At the outbreak of the Second World War the Club suspended its activities.
In 1951 the Club was reformed (using the same goals that had been in store for 12 years!) - and in 1952 moved to its present location on the Village Green. In the 50s and 60s the Club had a very strong side and was run by villagers such as Ernie Powell and George Thorby. The photo to the left records one of the teams of that era.
In 1979 the Club built its own purpose-built changing rooms and in the early 80s changed its league affiliation from the Bury St Edmunds leagues to the Cambridgeshire leagues. In the early 90s the Sunday team was re-formed and gained promotion in three successive years, moving from the fourth to the first division. Into the new millennium, the Club still runs three sides and operates indoor five-a-side and pre-season training. The final photo shows the three sides together as the Millennium ended.
Parish Church - St Mary's
The church is the oldest and most notable building in the village. The present building dates from the late 12th century although there was very probably a wooden church building here in Saxon times. We know for certain that there was a church on this site in 1154 as there is a charter from the brother of Henry II, giving the church to his steward and chamberlain. Through the centuries, the building has been greatly altered and restored. The north doorway dates from the 14th century, though the actual door was replaced to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The old south door still has the 'sanctuary ring' attached to it, the porch was restored in 1901 to commemorate the reign of Queen Victoria, and in the millennium year 2000, new oak framed glass doors (given as a memorial to a former parishioner) have been fitted to the outer arch.
In recent years, much of the mediaeval glass, which, fortunately for us , had been hidden away during the desecration of the church in the 16th century, has been restored. The many reminders of previous generations of worshippers include the stone stoup, the sedilla and the piscina in the walls and the 14th century font. The three bells, which are now rung regularly every Sunday, date from 1527, 1533 and 1608.
Opposite is the Mill Pond, an inlet of the river Lark and Mill House. (a complete history of the Mill House is available at Mildenhall Museum).
The Bull Inn
The Bull Inn has stood on this site since the 16th century with a "new" south wing having been built in the 18th century. In the past, the Inn grounds boasted a bowling green, a lawn-tennis court and a croquet lawn - none of which unfortunately, exist today.
Legend has it that during the period of her romance with the Earl of Leicester, Queen Elizabeth I slept here and Queen Victoria I is said to have visited twice - the first when she was a princess and the second when she had ascended the throne, this time accompanied by the young Prince (Edward VII).
The Bull Inn was a favourite stopping place on the journey from London to Norwich, Kings Lynn or Swaffham for the mail and stage coaches and has welcomed many notable visitors over the years.
These included a party of approximately 40 men who dined for lunch at the Bull Inn in 1916. The group included Mr. Lloyd George (the Minister for War at the time) and other Headquarters staff and Admiralty who had been on a secret inspection of tanks in action at Elveden where secret training had been carried out before the tank made its very first appearance at the Battle of the Somme.
Street Farm, a Grade II* listed building, is the finest "Wealden"type house in Suffolk. Having been called Street Farm for centuries, the building has in recent years had several name changes which include "Carpenters Farm", "Brown's Farm", "Paradise Farm" and "Hemroyd House" before reverting back to its former name "Street Farm".
The House was built around 1490 as a 3 cell Wealden type house of unusually high quality which suggests it was built for some special function. The house initially had an open two storey main hall with richly carved and moulded oak beams. Around 1530 or 1540 the open hall was subdivided by the construction of a ceiling in the hall.
Lord Mayors Cottage
Lord Mayors Cottage is at 53 The Street and is a wonderful example of a 15th century thatched cottage. The first owner was Henry de Barton, a skinner from Mildenhall, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1416 and in 1430.
It has also been used as a sweet shop when it was lived in by Mr George Drake.
From 1889 - 1915 Wm. Howlett lived there. He was a Newmarket Taxidermist who wrote weekly articles on fishing and natural history for the Bury Free Press.
From 1931 to 1945 it was the summer home of Dr and Mrs Anderson from Sunderland. During the early part of the war, it was used by Mrs Willsher (the Andersons's daughter) as a nursery school.
Reputedly built by the Marquis of Bristol for his mother as a Dower House at the beginning of the 19th Century (c 1804), the house formed part of the Hall Farm Estate. Extended in the 1830s, it was occupied by the Squire family, one of whom painted this view of the house, known as The Place, around 1845.
It was acquired by the Church in 1855 and was used and named as The Rectory for the rest of the century, housing some distinguished clerics as well as local rectors.
As the wealth and influence of the Church waned in the 20th Century, such a large house could no longer be justified and in 1935 it became the property of Col. Cutlack, a director of a local brewery; and latterly of the Holloway and Parker families, both well known in business in Suffolk . Known during this time as The Manor, it was first modernised in 1935 and then again in the 1960s with the addition of a gardener/housekeeper's cottage and later the conversion of the kitchen garden to a swimming pool and the stables to extensive garaging. The property became separated from the farm when it left Church ownership and the farm has been owned until 1999 by the Goodchild family.
The Manor was listed Grade 2 in the 1980s.