The most significant event in the village's history was the Great Fire of Badwell Ash, on the 7th of July 1723. On that day, virtually the whole village is said to have burned down, leaving 388 families homeless. Only ten buildings remained after the fire - including only half of the White Horse. However, the village history group has been researching the fire and they believe it's possible that it actually never happened. It will be interesting to see what more they can find; so far their researches have been unable to reach a definite conclusion.
Interestingly, the Ash part of the village name pre-dates the fire; the village appears on John Speed's 1610 map as "Badwellaſhe".
The village was originally called "Little Ashfield". It's claimed that on New Year's eve a ghostly coach and horses passes along the road to Walsham, with observers meeting their own end soon afterwards. The village sign, erected in 2014, also serves as the village's war memorial. A putative Early Saxon Pagan settlement has been inferred from the amount of pottery found near Shackerland Hall in 1955.
Unusually, there doesn't appear to have been an entry for Badwell Ash in Domesday.
[All the following could refer to the Norwich Ale Store, The Street]
The 1874 White's Directory lists Mrs Mary Elizabeth Hildyard as a beer house keeper.
The 1879 Kelly's Directory lists Mrs Charles Hildyard as a beer retailer.
The 1888 Kelly's Directory lists Fred Easlea as a beer retailer.
The 1900 Kelly's Directory lists Arthur William Ling as a beer retailer.
The 1901 Census lists Arthur Ling (Beer retailer [Overwritten with Pub], Street, pub not named, Head/Married/30/born Thrandeston).
1911 Census: Nelson Lynn (Baker &c, Street, pub not named, Head/Married/56/born Jerken Lane Mid).
The 1912 Kel…
Some historical information from English Heritage's National Monuments Record.