Alphabetical Index of Elmswell Streets

Ashfield Road – formerly Green Road – Gordon Goymer’s recollections
Basin Pond – in the hollow to the left along Warren Lane
Bunkers Hill (Hole, Vale, Bunkus Hill) – the old Norton Road drops away to the right below St John’s and up again to Bunkers Hill Farm; named after a battle in the American War of IndependenceChurch
Botany Bay (derived from Buttenhaugh?) – Grove Lane?
Buttenhaugh Green – see page 25 of Marker; in the 1901 census refers to Ashfield Road
Church Meadow – behind the Old Rectory, where fêtes etc used to be held; the football club played here at one time
Church Road
Claymeadow Drive – see Playmeadow below
Cooks Road – G Goymer; no.588 on the Tithe Map is ‘Parsonage (i.e. Grange) to Cock Street’.
Cross Street – G Goymer – not called this in 1930 land sale here
Farm Meadow – where the fire station now is, with a pond
Gardens Road (on the Tithe Map) – Hawk End Lane
Green Road – see Ashfield Road
Grove Lane
Hawk End Lane (sometimes called “the Hawk”, and the 1871 census has it as ‘Hall End’) – George Russell’s memoriesGoymer
Hundred Lane – the continuation of Grove Lane round to the east of East Wood
Jubilee Ave/Terrace – J Ave. is the dead-end part off J Terrace. mid-1930s, 25years of George V? – Gordon Goymer’s recollections
Kings Lane – little more than a path, where Cresmeadow now is; kids went this way to the wartime dump on Warren Lane
Kirkwood’s Meadow – off School Road to the west (round the bend)(here?), north of the almshouses; since then the terrain has been adjusted to enable tractors to be used on that field (David Hawes)ref.1
Lawton Lane (1901 census) – off Ashfield Road?
Low Meadow or Mann’s Meadow – east side of Cooks Road, up to the bend; same as Scouts Meadow
Mulleys Corner – the junction of Cooks Road, New Road and The Street (Mulleys the builders occupied The Willows until 1947)
Newsons Corner – the junction of New Road and Church Road (Newson the coal merchant used to live in The Cottage on the corner)
New Road – G Goymer
Norton Road – see Bunkers Hill
Oak Lane
Penny Lane, a.k.a. Parnell Lane – George Russell’s memories; article by Maureen Dow at the bottom of this page
Pightle Close – Built in the 1960s
Playmeadow Drive – a cart track between Nos. 8 and 9 Wetherden Road, through to what was open SCC land behind the houses
Pye’s Meadow – much used for social events, this was accessed from the footpath which runs from beside No.1 Victoria Terrace parallel to the railway, via a gate on the left. Beyond it was Pye’s Orchard, and then a field behind the Lion (Gordon Goymer).ref.1ref.2
Rices Road (on the Tithe Map) – the road to Eastwood Farm
Rose Lane – George Russell’s memories
School Avenue, off School Road almost opposite where the school used to be, built in 1947.
School Road – Gordon Goymer’s recollections; the village school used to be where “Old School Court” now is.
Scouts’ Meadow – ref.1ref.2 – see Low Meadow
Shop Corner – as you might guess, where the Co-op is.
Spong Lane – see Tithe Map no.590 Spong Drift and no.43 Spong (nursery)
Station Road
Stebbings Road (1861 census) – apparently off Ashfield Road
Tavern Row – now known as Chapel Row, opposite the Methodist Chapel in School Road
Stony Hill – the sloping fields behind Prescott Close and Mill Gardens
Street, The – now only from Mulleys Corner to Shop Corner, but before the railway was built it would have gone as far as Street Farm.
Top Road – the old A45 by-passing Wetherden and Elmswell to the south
Walloaks Road (on the Tithe Map) – Oak Lane
Warren Lane
Wetherden Road – Gordon Goymer’s recollections
White City – part of Wetherden Road; according to Gordon Goymer, “White City was built for people coming back from WW1.”
Woolpit Road – former name of School Road


A few modern side-streets
Bakers Mill – named after the firm of R Baker & Son
Blacksmiths Way – Nathan Warren was a blacksmith here on Ashfield Road in the 19th c.
Borley Close – named after Frederick Borley, who lived for many years at the Police House in Ashfield Road and was a well-respected and well-known village resident
Bennett Avenue – named after Ernie Bennett
Crabtree Meadow – see Tithe Map no.214, ‘Crabtree Meadow’
Cresmedow Way – there was a road of this name here hundreds of years ago – see page 19 of Marker
Little Green – see page 23 of Marker
Loch Rannoch Close – named after the firm Rannochs which once occupied the site
Lyle Close, up Ashfield Road opposite the end of Grove Lane, was where at one time Tate & Lyle had a depot.
Maltings Field – name of fields 189 and 190 alongside New Road on the Tithe Map
Miller Close – named after Jon and Bert Miller
Oxer Close – Oxer’s Pightle (1814 map), Oxers Field (1841 map) was out along School Road near Penny Lane, No.494 on the Tithe Map , and School Road itself is referred to as Oxers Field Road; a Henry Oxer was buried on 6th June 1744.
Pye’s Meadow – see below left
Ropers Garden
Rowan Green – see Tithe Map no.218, ‘Rowan Meadow’
Whatley Close, off Cooks Road: on the site of the W W Hawes printing works; Eileen Whately lived on the other side of Cooks Road for about 50 years to 2004 when this close was built
William Armstrong Close – named after Bill Armstrong, who lived in The Willows, New Road for 37 years, and was very active in local affairs
Wyatt Close – named after Oswald Wyatt, who was a council sanitary inspector from before 1933 until 1967
Some house names of historical significance
Coronation Bungalows, in Jubilee Terrace (w. side), 1952
Victoria Terrace, opposite the Fox
Pound Cottage, behind the Fox: the pound was where stray animals from the Common were kept until claimed
Oliver House, in The Street, was named after Oliver C. Jewers who founded O.C.Jewers Ltd, Corn and Coal Merchants.

The following article by Maureen Dow appeared in the Newsletter of February 1997

Parnell Lane

Last month George Russell conjured the image of a lost age – a time when Parnell Lane was a green and tranquil idyll.

If we trace the history of the lane further back to its origins in the Middle Ages we see yet another picture. In those days it was the link road between an important ecclesiastical manor house and the Abbey at Bury which, in those days was second in importance only to Canterbury.

At this time Elmswell Hall farm was a grand abbatial palace, a country seat for the Lord Abbot of St Edmunds Monastery. When he and his court were to reside in Elmswell his steward went ahead; ‘…8 horses and 13 men and received fodder for the horses, wine, ale and waxen candles and meat for his hounds and falcons.” The Abbot would follow on with more attendants, all passing along Parnell Lane.

When King Henry VI, at the age of 12, visited St Edmunds Abbey in 1433-34 he arrived on Christmas Eve with a retinue which extended for a mile. It is unlikely that so many would have been in attendance when the young King, as recorded on our village sign, rode along Parnell Lane to Elmswell Hall on 23rd, January 1434.

Having established the origin and the purpose of Parnell Lane we turn to the name – why ‘Parnell’? Parnell, in this case, probably derives from St. Petronilla. There may have been a wayside shrine dedicated to the Saint at some point along the Lane, inspired by the 12th Century hospital for ‘leprous maidens’ (later a hospital for the poor) dedicated to St Petronilla or St. Parnell and standing outside Bury’s South Gate. This would have been the route by which the Abbot would have left Bury for Elmswell – near to where the Wyevale garden centre now stands. A further point of local interest is that, next door to St. Parnell’s stood the hospital of St. John the Evangelist, founded in 1256 by Abbot Edmund; ‘for the refreshment of seven poor men, with provision for those who fell sick while receiving charity.’

A short section of the ancient way still remains as footpath 14, but successive diversions to modern field boundaries have removed much of the chance to walk in the footsteps of History.

Maureen Dow
(Recorder of Local History for Elmswell)
Anderson, Sue The Medieval Hospitals of Bury St Edmunds
Unpublished manuscript 1996
Pearsall, Derek John Lydgate
Routledge & Keegan Paul 1970
(John Lydgate was a 15th Century poet and a monk at Bury St Edmunds)
West Suffolk Archaeology Unity