Woolpit

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Introduction

Set just off the A14, this settlement probably takes its name from Wolves, not wool, with the last known wolves in England supposedly being killed in a pit near here. It was recorded in Domesday as "Wlfpeta" and on John Speed's 1610 map as "Wulpet".

In medieval times a market was held here together with cattle and horse fairs. The shrine of the Virgin St Mary was a popular stopping point for pilgrims on their way to Walsingham Abbey, and a local spring was renowned for its healing properties.

From the 17th century the area became an important manufacturing centre for "Suffolk White" bricks but today only the pits remain. At one time a tramway linked the brickworks with nearby Elmswell Station.

A local legend from the 12th century tells of two green children coming out of the ground at harvest time. The boy died soon after but the girl lived on, lost her green colour and eventually married a man from Lynn. She told of coming from a land of perpetual twilight, beyond a great river and crawling through a hole into the harvest field when they heard church bells, but could not get back.

Mill Lane marks the site of a post mill which was demolished about 1924…

Gallery

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History

The 1851 Census also lists Diana Death (Licensed to sell malt liqueurs, Borley Green, not named, Head/Unmarried/41/born Rattlesden)

The 1855 White's Directory also lists a beer house run by Benj. Button.

The 1874 White's Directory also lists a beer house run by: Samuel Folkerd (& hairdresser).

The 1888 Kelly's Directory also lists John Lummis (Borley grn) and Walter Revens as beer retailers.

The 1891-92 White's Directory also lists 4 beer house run by: Mrs Brewers & David Holland (Heath) & John Palmer & George Pearson.…

Acknowledgements

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

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