A classic High Suffolk cloth manufacturing centre. The parish was a "peculiar" under the control of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Peculiar Deanery of Bocking, and not the Diocese of Norwich like most of the county. Traces of Palaeolithic, Roman and Saxon settlement have all been found here.
The village appears on the 1837 OS map as "Monks Illeigh". John Speed's 1610 map shows it as "Munke silye".
The old Guildhall dates from the 15th century.
The old village pump on the green (photo in the gallery) bears the inscription:
This well was made and pump erected 1854 for the use of the inhabitants of Monks Eleigh out of the proceeds of the sale of some parish property. Joseph Makin guardian of the poor.
Take notice that boys or other persons damaging this pump will be prosecuted as the law directs.
The 1844 White's Directory also lists Edmund Fuller and Zach. Warren as beer house keepers.
The 1851 Census also lists Edmund Fuller (Beer Shop Keeper, High Street, pub not named, Head/Widower/72/born Bramford)
The 1855 White's Directory also lists George Death as a beer house keeper.
The 1865 Kelly's Directory also lists Edward Bugg (& carpenter) and William Parr (& wheelwright) as beer retailers.
The 1869 Kelly's Directory also lists Samuel Hawkins and William Parr (& wheelwright) as beer retailers.
The 1874 White's Directory also lists Wm. Parr (& wheelwright) as a beer house keeper.…
Some historical information from English Heritage's National Monuments Record.