Villages make a fine pair

Pictures from Flempton.     St. Catherine's church.

Pictures from Flempton. St. Catherine's church.

At first look, Flempton and Hengrave appear to be two quintissentially sleepy Suffolk villages.

But scratch beneath the surface and there are enough quirks and historic tales to make them more than just picture postcard idylls.

Most West Suffolk residents’ experience of the two villages would be as a thoroughfare, as the busy A1101 passes through from Bury St Edmunds to Mildenhall.

Dave Bambury, chairman of Flempton-cum-Hengrave parish council, insists there is plenty to offer anyone who ventures off that beaten path.

“They are quiet Suffolk villages but there is an unusual history here.

“It’s a hamlet paired with a village, which is rare, and places like Hengrave Hall have a fascinating story to tell,” he said.

Indeed, Hengrave is dominated by the hall and its history.

Built between1525 and 1538 by Sir Thomas Kytson, a wool merchant, the hall hosted Elizabeth I more than once and its ancient church is recognised as being of outstanding interest.

Cllr Bambury says the hall - which now serves as a wedding and conference venue - has been of a great benefit to the village, providing jobs and visitors.

Flempton, the larger of the two villages, does not have the same heritage as its neighbour, but boasts a host of resources which tend to make it the meeting place for community events.

The Greyhound pub serves both villages, with meetings of the parish council and various groups taking place there.

Covered by the Lark Valley Benefice, Rector David Burrell leads services at the church of St Catherine in Flempton.

A recent fund-raising effort raised £8,000 for refurbishment of the church, just one example of the community’s strength.

Events throughout the year - including quizzes, fireworks and events on the green - regularly bring residents together.

For more information, go to http://flemptoncumhengrave.onesuffolk.net




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