The village straddles a 2 mile stretch of road in the valley of the Chad brook and was recorded in Domesday as "Simplinga". It appears on John Speed's 1610 map as "Shimplinge".
An agricultural college was endowed here by the Earl of Iveagh for "training in the scientific and essential points of farming", after he had allegedly found one of his hands stuffing manure into a horse's wound as a "cure". The Fainting House" in the churchyard is said to have been for the use of swooning ladies who found the long and powerful sermons too much.
A report in the Ipswich Journal** on 08 Jan in 1844 states that :
Arthur BIRD of Shimpling was charged with allowing beer to be consumed on his premises without a licence. Fined £2 & costs 9s 6d.(not a licensed premises)
The 1851 census also lists Lucy Sparke as shopkeeper & beerhouse, Head/Unmarried/42/born Melford.
The 1855 White's Directory also lists a beer house run by Lucy Sparke (shopkeeper).
1861 census also lists Lucy Sparke as beer shop keeper & grocer, Street, Head/Unmarried/54/born Long Melford.
The 1865 Kelly's Directory also lists Mrs Lucy Sparke as a beer retailer.…
(** historic newspaper information from Bob Mitchell)