Some delightful flint walled cottages border the village green in this Breckland village. A number of prehistoric finds have been made locally including Iron Age barrows containing cremations and inhumation burials. Nearby the Black Ditches are believed to be the most easterly of a series of early Anglo-Saxon defensive earthworks built across the Ickenield Way. Risby Poors heath and Cavenham heath are two of the last areas of totally unspoilt breckland heath.
Saxham & Risby Station (originally just "Saxham") opened in 1854 and closed in December 1964, though passenger traffic ceased in 1967.
Risby was recorded in Domesday variously as "Rasbi", "Risbi" and "Resebi". It appears on John Speed's 1610 map as "Riſbye".
The 1844 White's Directory also lists a beer seller called Hannah Smith.
The 1855 White's Directory also lists a beer seller called My. Smith .
The 1861 census also lists:
Edgar Fenton/27y/Baker & brewer/Woolpit
Edward Drake/24y/Butcher, dealer & beer seller/Hawstead - married to Susanna Drake/21y/Bury St Edmunds
The 1891-92 White's Directory also lists a beer house keeper called William Fenton (& grocer & baker & draper).