History

  • In the 11th Century Ulfric gave Herringswell Manor to the Abbot of Bury St Edmunds.
  • In 1238 the boundaries of Herringswell and Freckenham were marked by the site of a gallows.
  • The Manor went to the Crown and was granted in 1542 to Sir Thomas Audley.
  • The earliest register of baptisms and burials found in the parish chest dates from 1749.
  • In 1789 the Manor was vested to Richard Burton Phillipson and in 1796 he became Rector of Herringswell.
  • In 1797 Richard Phillipson married Eliza Tharp.
  • In 1865 the Church Glebe Lands were purchased by Sir William Gilstrap, who also undertook to keep the church in good repair.
  • Sir William Gilstrap, who died in 1896, also built the village school, now in residential use.
  • The estate of 2585 acres was bought by Herbert Davies, who died in 1899.
  • His brother, Leopold, purchased Herringswell from the widow and in 1905 sold what was known as the Manor Estate to Lesley Balance who died in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
  • The Red House was built as a pub by Sir William Gilstrap but he was dissuaded from opening it by his head gamekeeper as he thought excessive drinking would lead to more poaching, and the house became a residence.
  • The next door cottage became an off licence, the Live and let Live.
  • Edward, Prince of Wales was a regular visitor to the estates for regular shoots at the end of the 19th century when he was visiting his mistress, Lilly Langtree, whom he had installed at nearby Kentford Hall.
  • In 1920 the War memorial was erected.

For most of its history, Herringswell has been owned as a part of an estate. Most of the houses have now been restored and in residential use.

In 2005 Herringswell (and near villages) came under threat from a developer who wanted to build a new town of some 6,000 dwellings plus an industrial park, rock arena etc on 600 acres which would have completely destroyed the beautiful rural nature of Herringswell and its surroundings.
The residents, supported by many local villages and people, managed to put a stop to the scheme after 2 years of hard work and campaigning. We were supported in our fight by Terry Waite CBE. This development was to be known as Watermark. For further details of this you can visit the following website: 

 Five Villages Preservation Trust