Reproduced with kind permission of Mrs Beryl Baker of Helions Bumpstead

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Portrait of Helions Bumpstead
The History of an East Anglian Village

The book was edited, typeset and printed at no cost by Quayside Press because the proceeds will go to maintenance funds for the village church and hall.

The price is £5.00 plus P+P.

In the Beginning

an extract from:

Portrait of Helions Bumpstead
The History of an East Anglian Village

"Helions Bumpstead was well known to historians in the time of Edward the Confessor, before the Norman Conquest. Then the whole area of which we know now as Steeple and Helions Bumpstead, was called collectively Bumsteda, or variations of this earliest way of spelling. As more people drifted into this area, two distinct centres developed, with the Helions part taking on the title of Bumpstead Magna (Great) and the Steeple district Bumpstead Parva (Little).

Bumsteda is not an easy name to sort out. History books tell us it means `a place where flax or hemp grows'. This could well be true, as several osier beds were discovered in parts of the village, such as Bumpstead Hall and Drapers Green. It is in the Sages End area where a spring, called the `Dropping Well', was the source of the best water in the village. It was noted as running at four gallons a minute in a report by Dr. Hubert Airy in 1871 when he visited the village to investigate the poor sanitary state that existed there. Even in the summer months the spring ran nearly two gallons each minute, enticing the inhabitants of Castle Camps to walk there when really hot weather dried up their watering holes. `Dropping Well' was the source of much of Helions Bumpstead's water, as it made its way down Sages End road to join the main rivulet near the Three Horse Shoes public house, thence to flow eastward into the River Stour and to the sea at Harwich.

The village history seems to take off from William the Conqueror and the compiling of the Domesday Book. The new King of England rewarded an officer of his invading army by granting him the Manor of Bumsteda. The officer by the name of Tihell, came from a village in France named Hellean, in the Morhihan district of Brittany. It was here in England that he built a Manor House on a hill facing due east, and then on a small mound not half a mile away, he built his Church. "

If you would like a copy please write to:-
Mrs Beryl Baker
Monks Orchard, Sages End Road
Helions Bumpstead, Nr Haverhill
Suffolk, CB9 7AW

Tel: +44 (0) 1440 730366



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