Ellough, or Willingham All Saints.
Dr. Tanner says, "Ellough appears to have been the chief name of this village for at
least three hundred years, because in one of the Institution Books, prior to the date of
1400, it is called El'gh, quasi alio nomine Willingham omnium sanctorum."
It is a small retired village, lying off the main road, and comprising only 1052 acres
of land, the tithes of which have been commuted for a rent charge of £300 per annum,
exclusive of the value of the glebes.
In Domesday Book it is written Elga, and is therein stated to have been the property
of Burchard, a wealthy Saxon, in the days of Edward the Confessor. It was granted
after the Norman conquest to Ralph Guader, Earl of Norfolk, who lost it by rebelling
against the Crown, when it passed to Roger Bigot, and was held under him by Robert
de Vallibus, at the time of the Survey.
In the ninth of Edward I., Ellough was again the lordship of the Crown, though in
the thirty-first of the same reign, Sir Walter Mouncey presented to the church. The
manor then passed to the family of Berry; Hugo de Berry being lord in 1322; with
whose descendants it remained about a century, and was then transferred by marriage
to Sir Thomas Bardolph. In the thirty-third of Henry VI., William Bonds conveyed to
John Southwell, and Alice his wife, relict of Sir Thomas Bardolph, and heiress of Berry,
the manors of Ellough and Pakefield. (fn. 1) The date, however, of the above transfer, as fixed
by Blomefield, is not strictly correct, as Southwell presented to the church in 1452. In
1477, the manor was with Thomas Aslack, Esq., from whose descendants it passed by
a female heir to Thomas Playters, Esq., of Sotterley. In 1541, Thomas Playters presented; and by an inquisitio post mortem, taken on the 20th of October, anno 1583,
William Playters, of Sotterley, was found to die seized, inter alia, of the manors and
advowsons of Sotterley, Uggeshall, and Ellough; and the reversion of the manor of
Brusyard. He died June the 6th, in that year, and Thomas was found to be his son
and heir. The Playters family held the lordship for above two hundred years, when it
was sold, in 1787, to Robert Sparrow, of Worlingham, Esq., and has since descended,
with his other estates in the neighbourhood, to the Earl of Gosford, his son-in-law, who
is the present proprietor.
By a rental of the manor of Ellough for the year 1685, it appears to have extended
at that time into the following parishes: Weston, Shaddingfield, Redisham, Brampton,
Sotterley, Henstead, Mutford, Rushmere, Kessingland, Gisleham, Pakefield, North Cove,
Worlingham, and Beccles. (fn. 2)
In Dr. Tanner's notes, 1745, it is stated that the Rector of Ellough, alias Willingham
All Saints, hath some glebe lands within the bounds of Willingham St. Mary, which the
Rector of the latter parish claims the tithes of, and which claim the Doctor seems unable
The Church, at Ellough stands upon the ridge of what is termed in Suffolk a hill; and, though occupying a rather bleak and naked site, looks down upon a rich but narrow valley, in which
the rectory-house and garden are situated.
The preferment is a rectory dedicated to All Saints, and comprises a nave and chancel, without aisles, and a square tower containing three bells, open to the former by a
good and lofty arch, the archivolt mouldings of which die into the abutments; a fashion
very prevalent in the early part of the fourteenth century.
The body of the church is covered with lead, supported by fine oak timbers, which
were originally adapted to a higher pitch; but having been shortened on the principles
of modern church economy to a flatter angle, they produce an anomalous effect, not very
agreeable to the eye of taste. The chancel is covered by a roof of slate, sustained by a
light frame of deal.
The nave is entered through a south porch of red brick, built in 1602, by private
liberality, as we learn from the following inscription placed over the external face of
This church porch was builded at the only cost and charges of
Thomas Love of this parish, anno Domini 1602.
There is an octangular font, ornamented with rosettes and shields, at the west end
of the nave; and part of what must once have been an elegant screen forms a partition
between pews in the nave and chancel. Some open seats in the latter, finely carved in
oak or chestnut wood, appear to have been long consigned to a neglect which neither
their excellence nor solidity deserve.
On the 6th of April, 1643, this church was visited by the puritanical reformer,
William Dowsing, who says in his journal, "we brake down twelve superstitious pictures,
and the stepps to be levelled, and a cross to be taken off the chancel, which they promised
to do." If this purifier of our churches were now to visit Ellough, he would find little
embellishment to condemn; if we except a small unpretending piscina, which occupies
the usual position in the south wall of the chancel.
Edmund Besylham, of Ellough, by his will, dated January 4, 1476, desires his body
to be buried in the church of Ellough. His will was proved in January, 1498, but
Alicia, his wife, who survived him, did not take out letters of administration. (fn. 3)
At the time of the Reformation, there was a guild of St. John the Baptist in this
The registers of Ellough are very defective; the oldest bearing a date not higher
Monuments.—There is a small brass effigy of a female, placed within the communion
rails, the lines of which are nearly obliterated. The inscription, in more perfect condition, commemorates "Margaret Chewt, the faythfull loving wyfe of Arthare Chewt,
gentleman, daughter to Christopher Playters, Esquer, who died at thage of 85, in ffebruarie, 1607."
At the head of this effigy are the arms of Playters, Bendy-wavy of six, arg. and az.,
on the dexter or husband's side; while those of Chewt occupy the contrary position.
Chewt, or Chute, bears Gules, three swords bar-wise, arg. hilted or.
2. Hic jacet Anna Gostling, uxor Gulielmi Gostling, generosi; obiit vicesimo die
mensis Januarij Anno D'ni, 1612.
Gostling's arms are a chevron between three crescents.
3. A large floor-stone in the chancel bears a long and not inelegant Latin epitaph to
Thomas Symonds, A.M., twelve years Rector of Ellough, who died October 12, Anno
Dñi, 1748, aged 38 years.
At the top are the arms of Symonds; Sable, a dolphin embowed, gorging a small
fish, both argent.
The poor of this parish have an allotment of about five acres of land, for which they
are allowed six hundreds of fagots annually.
By the census of 1841, the population of Ellough was 155.
Rectors of Ellough.
|William Goudewyn||1302||Walter Mouncey, Knt.|
|Robert de Elmham|
|Peter de Pakefield||1322||Hugo de Berry|
|Thomas de Spiney||1326||Id.|
|Thomas de Drayton||1335||Id.|
|Robert le Spencer||1343||Id.|
|John le Well||1371||Alicia de Berry|
|Thomas Kemp||1393||Alicia de Berry|
|Richard Marshall||1401||Edmund Berry, Knt.|
|Richard Athow||1443||Sir Thomas Bardolph.|
|Reginald Smethe||1452||John Southwell, Esq.|
|William Wra||1477||Thomas Aslack, Esq.|
|Christopher Lacebe||1541||Thomas Playters, Esq.|
|William Reddiswaye||1554||The Bishop, by lapse.|
|William Rigway||1579||The King, by lapse.|
|Thomas Jellis||1595||Thomas Playters, Esq.|
|Joseph Fleming||1610||Assignees of Thomas Playters, Knt.|
|Christopher West||1618||Sir Thomas Playters.|
|Edward Warner||1680||Sir Lionel Playters, Bart.|
|John Stewkley||1706||John Playters, Esq.|
|Thomas Symonds||1737||Thomas Page, clk. p. h. v.|
|John Leman||1748||Sir John Playters, Bart.|
|Joseph Dixie Churchill||1799||Robert Sparrow, Esq.|
|Richard Aldous Arnold||1830||Earl of Gosford, and Dawson Turner, Esq.|
Estimatio eccliē xviij marc. Synodalia pr. annum xviij. Denarii S. Petri, ixd. (fn. 4)
Hulverstreet is a hamlet of Henstead, a parish in the Hundred of Blything, where its
history will be detailed.