Chelsworth is a pretty village in the Brett valley, with many timber-framed and thatched cottages. It was recorded in Domesday as "Cerleswrda" and may also be listed historically as Chellesworth. The Saxons called the area Ceorleswyrthe.
A narrow hump-backed bridge, part of which dates from 1754, crosses the river near the pub.
According to a plaque on the village sign,
Edgar, king and ruler of all Britain, gave this village to his stepmother, Aethelflaed in the year 962 AD. Edgar's Latin charter (Suffolk's oldest) names the village as CEORLESWYRTHE, translated as "churl's home", and in Anglo-Saxon script describes its boundaries, still the same today. In later years, the name became Cheilesworth, then Chelsworth.