Great Finborough, like so many other East Anglian villages, can trace its history back through centuries, not least with the existence of many fine listed buildings scattered throughout the community. With thanks to Russell Kent for the black & white photos and for this summary of the history of Great Finborough.
Great Finborough's name is thought to have derived either from Magna Fynbarow - being a barrow (burial mound) in the fens - or as Hollingsworth has in his 'History of Stowmarket' ; Finebg or fineborga, with the Saxon meaning of Fenn as a marsh and Burgh or Borg as a small town, ie. the town of the Fen, or Fentown. "A large piece of shallow water must have filled all the lower parts of the valley through which the stream from Rattlesden now runs. It is still a marshy bottom. The town may have been of some importance - now the pretty village on the hill."
A Roman road ran through Finborough on its way from Stowmarket to Bildeston and The Domesday Book in 1086 mentions the church and manor. Little and Great Finborough were at that time one parish. The population of Great and Little Finboroughs combined in 1066 was 91; in 1841 they were Great (Magna) 467 and Little (Parva) 64.
Finborough Hall goes back to 1795 when the Pettiward family rebuilt the former Jacobean mansion that was destroyed by fire. It was the Pettiward family seat until 1936. From 1948 until 1978 the Hall was the East Anglian Group Headquarters of Eastern Electricity and is now home to Finborough Private School.
In the past the village pub was 'The White Horse' where White Horse Cottages are now and brewed its own beer; in 1876 the landlord moved across the road to the farmhouse and so was born the local pub we have today, 'The Chestnut Horse'. In the past the village boasted a maltings, sawmill, hosiery factory and fish & chip shops as well as supporting the traditional rural crafts of blacksmith, thatcher and wheelwright.
St Andrew's C. of E. Church as we see it today was built in 1875, although it still retains the original Tudor porch. There has been a church on this site for centuries and is referred to in The Domesday Book.For futher infomation please visting the church's website www.standrewsgtfinborough.co.uk
These are the current listed buildings in Great Finborough, with the dates they originate from:
Butterfly Farmhouse Grade II* (1570); St Andrew's Church Grade II (1874); Finborough Hall Grade II (1795); Coach House, Finborough Park Grade II (18th Century); Chestnut Horse Grade II (Late 16th Century); Old Forge Grade II (Early 16th Century); Chestnut Cottage & Chestnut View Grade II (18th Century); The Green Cottages (1-4) Grade II (Mid 18th Century); Thatched Cottage, High Road Grade II (Late 17th Century); High Green Farmhouse Grade II (Circa 1500); Boarded Barn Farmhouse Grade II (Early 16th Century); Boarded Barn, Barn Grade II (Late 16th Century); Green Farmhouse Grade II (16th Century); Dairy Farm Barn Grade II (Early 17th Century); Valley Farmhouse Grade II (Circa 1500); Bridge Farm, Valley Lane Grade II (Circa 1500); El Tup & Oakwood, Valley Lane Grade II (Late 16th Century).
The Race of the Boggmen
Click to read an Elizabethan ode that refers to a Saxon battle fought at 'a' Finborough, thought to be Great Finborough in Suffolk.