About Kettlebaston

Kettlebaston is a tiny hamlet in the heart of rural Suffolk with just 28 houses in the entire parish. It is located around 3 miles east of Lavenham, just off the A1 cycle route, and on the 109 mile Suffolk Way footpath.

The Village derives its name from the old Scandanavian for Ketel's son's farmstead, (i.e. Ketelbarnes AS tun). It was first recorded in 1086 in the Domesday Book, where it is listed as Kitelbeornastuna alongside the 'lost village' of Manton.

Looking towards Hall Farm from the westOnce on the brink of extinction, the village has now been lovingly restored and went on to win Babergh's Best Kept Village, and was runner up in the Suffolk Community Council Best Kept Village Competition in 1989. It contains a very high proportion of listed properties, (over 40%, mostly from the 17th. century) and is now protected as by Conservation Area status.

Also preserved (as a County Wildlife Site) is the one hectare Kettlebaston Wood, but sadly it's only half the required size for inclusion within English Nature's Inventory of Ancient Woodland.

The village sign, (bearing two crossed sceptres topped with doves), was erected to mark the coronation of George VI. It also commemorates that in 1445 Henry VI granted the Manor of Kettlebaston to William de la Pole (Marquess of Suffolk) along with the service of carrying a golden sceptre at the coronation of all the future Kings of England, and an ivory sceptre to carry at the coronation of Margaret of Anjou, and all future Queens.

The Grade 1 listed parish church of St. Mary the Virgin has Norman origins, and retains many period features.

Whilst the church was undergoing some restoration work c.1864, four medieval alabasters were found embedded in the chancel wall. They were donated to the British Museum in 1883, (which is where the originals still reside), and are regarded as some of the finest examples of medieval carving that have survived - thought to be from the London School of Carvers, c.1350.

The church also features one of Suffolk's finest modern rood screens. It was designed by Father Ernest Geldart in 1890, and decorated by Patrick Osborne in 1949.

Kettlebaston is part of a benefice containing Monks Eleigh with Chelsworth, and Brent Eleigh with Milden. More information about the church and its past are located in our Millennium Project area.

The ancient churchyard is a haven for wildlife, and is now managed as a conservation area under the guidelines of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

An upgraded version of Roy Tricker's excellent Church Guide is currently available for download. Please click the link to begin the transfer:

Illustrated - 725Kb Adobe Acrobat file

Even some locals may wonder why we have a property called "The Dockyard". The story goes that during the Second World War the military put out a story that the Queen Mary was moored at Kettlebaston Dockyard and (to great amusement) this story was picked up by Lord Haw Haw who reported it as a German intelligence coup!

For more information about the village and its past, the church and its history, or the community in general, please visit the Kettlebaston Millennium Project section via the 'Y2K Home' button (a lovingly acquired collection of over 150 period photographs plus historic documents and maps - a must-see for genealogists, historians, sociologists, or indeed anyone interested in exploring our fascinating little hamlet).

Did you arrive here whilst researching your family history? We have a whole 'village genealogy' section especially for you and welcome new messages via our moderated Visitors Book!

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