Photo from Polstead

2 Real Ale pubs

Ancient pubs are defined as those which are believed to have closed before the middle of the 19th century.

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Population (2011) of Polstead: 851.

Local licensing authority for Polstead is Babergh.

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About Polstead

A parish of many greens and tyes, scattered over a wide area. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon "place of pools", some of which can still be seen below the village today. Polstead was recorded in Domesday as "Polesteda". The area is well known for cherry trees and still has a large number of orchards; the Polstead Black is a special cultivar in the village. Author Ruth Rendell was a long-time Polstead resident, though she has since moved to nearby Groton.

Bower House Tye (Brewer's Arms) is a tiny hamlet which lies on the A1071 (one and a half miles north of the village). Brewery Farm, on Holt Road, was the location of the Lilley & family brewery, which mainly brewed for the farm and country house trade but may have sold some beer to local pubs.

Polstead Heath (Shoulder of Mutton) is a very scattered hamlet comprising many fine half timbered buildings. The heath has long vanished.

Whitestreet Green (Bakers' Arms) is a small settlement close to Boxford. During gravel workings in 1926, an Iron Age cemetery was discovered here.

The lost village of Riddlestone is thought to have been somewhere in Polstead parish.

Gospel Oak stood between the church and the hall. When it rotted and collapsed in 1953, it was claimed to have been 1300 years old, though this has never been proved.

Stoke by Nayland Black Horse is historically recorded in Polstead.

The village gained notoriety as the scene of the "red barn murder" in 1827, when Maria Marten (a 26 year old daughter of a local molecatcher) was killed by William Corder (24 year old son of a local farmer), who was later hanged at Bury. The barn burnt down in 1842, but a melodrama based on the unsavory incident and an account of the incident (which was bound with Corder's skin that had been tanned by surgeon George Creed) helps to keep the legend alive to this day. The book can still be seen in Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds together with various other associated artefacts.

The Community Shop was the first of its kind to be established in Suffolk.


Some historical information from English Heritage's National Monuments Record.