Map View

The Village Green

The Green, the heart of the  village and for many years prior to ‘enclosure’ in 1817 a meeting place for exchange of trade, the village fair, gatherings for celebrations, coronations, wars, or as depicted in John Constables ‘Celebration of the General’ 1815, a procession  held for the poor people in the village to celebrate the peace treaty, however today all that remains of the green is this tiny patch of grass which houses the village sign.


We can only but imagine the magnificence of the original expanse of the village green, extending from Beaufont Cottage, running adjacent to the railings of East Bergholt House (home of the Constables), across to the Church at the far end, past the village stocks that stood just to the right of where the War Memorial stands today, and over the full frontage of West Lodge (now Stour House).

In 1731, Henry Hankey Lord of Old Hall Manor commissioned British Surveyor William Brasier to record the most accurate record of East Bergholt that exists prior to enclosure.  The mapping of the parish took almost 2 years and detailed field names and land owners for the first time, together with manorial copyholds of every field and whose is the boundary fence of each proprietor. The map measured 2.7x1.5m, and included every minute detail  including what would appear to be a centre structure on the Village Green suggesting perhaps a focal point for trade amongst the villagers.

The ‘enclosure’ act of 1817 which was the legal process in England to consolidate small landholdings into larger farms by buying the ground rights which in turn increased the value of the land, or another method was by passing laws forcing enclosure, (the most controversial of agricultural and economical history in England), either way, landowners took the opportunity to claim additional land for their estates, so around this time Reverend William Deane of West Lodge (now Stour) walled off a large strip in front of his house from the green  to screen his house with a white brick wall and dense hedge, reducing the village green to the patch of grass we see today.

The Village sign stands proud on what remains of the Green, designed and made by our own blacksmith Rodney Moss, the last of the village blacksmiths as for some years there were 4 blacksmiths around the village, all owned by his father and for many generations before him. 

'By many names men call us'

Domesday BookHenry VIIEstbargeholt
William IIBarholtEstbarholte
BercoldBargeholtEst Barhollt
Henry IIEstBbeholtEstbarhollt
BerkholteEstbarholtEst Barholtt
Henry IIIEstbarcholtEstbergholte
Bercholt EstbargholtEstbergholte
BerfeldEast BarholtEstebarholt
BerghoutHenry VIIIEstbergholte
Berkholt BariffEast Bargolde
Edward IBarffoldeEast Barghat
BerghholtBargholteEast Bargehoulte
Edward IIEst BeargholteEastbarholte
BargholtEstbargholteEast Bergholt
BersholtEstbargholttEast Bergholte
BerweholteEst BarholtEastbergholte
Est BergholteEst BargholteEastberghollt
Edward IIIEstbercholdEaste Bardold
BerkolteEstberholtJames I
Richard IIEastbergholtbarhould
Berugholt Edward VIEstberglt
EstbergholtBarfolteCharles I
Henry IVEstbregholteBarfoulde
BercholdElizabethEst Bargholt
Henry VIBarfoldeestbargholt
Berghold Barfollt 
Est Bergholt  Barhollt 
Est BergholtEst Bardghold 

If you have any additional information and would like to contribute towards this story then please do get in touch.


Other Images

William Brasier 1731 village centre<br>

William Brasier 1731 village centre

1817 Enclosure<br>

1817 Enclosure

1731 William Brasiers Map<br>

1731 William Brasiers Map

Celebration of the General<br>

Celebration of the General


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