The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk: Volume 1. Originally published by WS Crowell, Ipswich, 1846.

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'Ilketshall', in The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk: Volume 1, (Ipswich, 1846) pp. 111-118. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]

In this section


Ilketshall signifies the hall or chief residence of Ulketil, who was Earl of East Anglia in the eleventh century. Thus Redenhall, in Norfolk, is mentioned in Domesday Book as the hall of Rada, who held it in the time of Edward the Confessor.

This district comprehends the parishes of St. Andrew, St. John, St. Laurence, St. Margaret, and All Saints Mettingham; to which the two parishes of St. Mary and Holy Trinity, in Bungay, are added, and make up what are commonly called 'The seven parishes;' in contradistinction to the South Elmhams, or 'The nine parishes.'

Among the Saxons mentioned in the Domesday Survey as holding estates here, Uchetel, a free-man, had property in Bungay; and a free-woman, whose name is not recorded, appears as an under-tenant of the wealthy Burchard—an early instance of a female Suffolk farmer. The King and Earl Hugh took possession of the greater part of Ilketshall, but their estates were soon afterwards divided into smaller parcels, upon which various families fixed their residence. The principal of these was one which assumed its surname from the township. Sir Gilbert de Ilketshall was lord of Hedenham and Kelling, in Norfolk, and of Ilketshall, in Suffolk, as early as the reign of William Rufus. Sir Thomas de Ilketshall was son of Sir Gilbert, as appears from the register of Holm Abbey. Gilbert de Ilketshall, Esq., was son and heir of Sir Thomas, and in the thirty-second of Henry III. had a charter of free-warren in Ilketshall. Sir James de Ilkeshall was son of Gilbert, and in the fifty-second of Henry III. mortgaged for twenty-seven marks and a half of silver, to the Lady Sarah, Prioress of Bungay, certain lands, &c. In the following year he conveyed an acre of land, and the advowson of the church of St. John Baptist of Ilketshall, by fine to the Priory of the Holy Cross in Bungay. Amongst the knights of Suffolk in the seventeenth of Edward I. occurs the name of this Sir James de Ilketshall: he died in 1312. In the list of towns and their lords, made in the ninth of Edward II., the Sheriff of Suffolk returns that Ilketshall had three lords—namely, Comitissa Marescall, Guido Ferre, (fn. 1) and Jacobus de Ilketshall. This Sir Jacobus or James de Ilketshall was son and heir of the former Sir James, and married Ida, daughter and coheiress of Sir Robert de Stafford, Knight, by Gundreda his wife; and Sir Robert was son of Sir William de Stafford by Ermetrude his wife, daughter and coheir of Robert, lord of Rodbourn, in Derbyshire. In the sixth of Edward II. a deed was executed between Sir James de Ilketshall on the one part, and James his son and Ida his wife, whereby James and Ida grant the manor of Kelling, in Norfolk, to Sir James for life, and Sir James released to them £9 per annum out of his £15 per annum annuity, which they were to pay him and Aliva his wife, for the manor of Hedenham: dated at Ilketshall on Monday next after the feast of St. Michael.

Sir James, the son, was lord of Ilketshall in the ninth of Edward II., as appears by the record called Nomina Villarum. He and Ida his wife were living in the fifteenth of Edward III., and left two sons, Sir Philip, the younger, and Sir Robert de Ilketshall, his heir, who died before 1381; for at that time Claricia, his late wife, was married to Sir Robert de Morley. By this Claricia, Sir Robert de Ilketshall had two sons and four daughters. The daughters were, Joan, married to William de Sharnbourn, Esq.; Idonea, married to . . . . . . . ., whose daughter and heiress Margery was wife to Laurence Fitz-Piers. Margaret married to Thomas Seive, of Worstead; and the fourth daughter married Gilbert de Debenham. The sons were, William de Ilketshall, who was the younger, and living in the nineteenth of Richard II.; and Sir Thomas de Ilketshall, son and heir of Sir Robert, who married Isabel, daughter of . . . . . . ., who afterwards became the wife of William Deyvile, Esq. Philip de Ilketshall, their son, married, but died without issue in the reign of Henry VI. (fn. 2)

The arms of Ilketshall were or, a fess between two chevronels gules, and a canton ermine.

In the second of Edward III., the King granted to John Bardolf, and Elizabeth his wife, daughter and heiress of Roger Damery, the manor of Ilketshall in fee. (fn. 3) "Rex concessit Joh: Bardolfe et Eliz: ux: ejus, filiæ et heredi Rogeri Damery, in feodo maneriā de Ilkelleshall, et de Clopton, in Com: Suff: per servitium ¼ unius feodi militis, necnon 40s. annui redditus de Abb: de Waltham S. Crucis pro firmâ de Waltham, in escambio pro maneriis de Kenyngton, et de Frankeshall in Com: Surr." (fn. 4)

This grant was the manor of Bardolf in Ilketshall St. Laurence, and Bungay Trinity, which acquired its appellation from this family. They bore az. 3 cinquefoils or, and descended from the famous Thomas, Lord Bardolph of Stoke-Bardolph, in the county of Nottingham, in the reign of Henry I.; who was killed at the battle of Branceholm Moor in Northumberland. Hugh Bardolph was in the advanced guard at the siege of Kaerleverock in Scotland, twenty-eighth of Edward I. Sir Thomas Bardolph was a Knight Banneret in the reign of Edward I., and was present at the tournament of Dunstable, in the second of Edward II. Both Hugh and Sir Thomas bore the arms as above, but the cinquefoils are said to have been afterwards perforated. The family was seated at Bardolph Hall in Ilketshall, and in Dennington, in Hoxne Hundred, till the seventh of Henry IV., when Thomas, Lord Bardolph, was attainted in Parliament. He left two daughters, Joan, married to William Philips, and Ann, married first to Sir William Clifford, and secondly to Reginald Cobham.

The Bardolphs held the manor of Barren, in the thirty-fourth of Edward I.; two knights' fees in Fretingham, Sproughton, and Spiksworth, in the first of Edward III.; the manor of Clopton, and £ 20 per annum out of the manor of Ilketshall, in the forty-fifth of Edward III.; Ringshall in Clopton, with the advowson of Debash; and Bardolph Hall in Ilketshall, in the fourth of Henry IV. Sir William Philips, who bore quarterly, gul. and arg., an eagle displayed or, in the first quarter, married, as before stated, Joan, daughter of Lord Bardolph, and was by Henry V. created Lord Bardolph, jure uxoris. His seats were Bardolph Hall in Ilketshall, and Dennington, where he founded a chantry for two priests to celebrate divine service daily, and to pray for the good estate of himself and his wife Joan, during their lives, and for their souls after their departure; also for the souls of Henry IV., Henry V., and all the faithful deceased. He was Knight of the Garter, and left Elizabeth his sole daughter and heiress, who married John, Lord Viscount Beaumont, who settled at Dennington, after his marriage.

Beaumont bore az., a lion ramp. or, within a bordure ermine. They were Viscounts for several generations, and Lords of Ilketshall, Dennington, and Clopton, in the first of Henry VIII., about which time Lords Viscount Beaumont died without issue, leaving Brian Stapleton and John Morris, his heirs.

In 1309, we meet with William de la Park, of Ilketshall, who had lands called Park's Manor, from his own name, in Aslacton in Norfolk.

In 1345, William Del Park was lord. He bore az. an eagle displayed arg. This ancient family came originally from Heveningham; for we find that in 1289, William, son of William Del Park of Heveningham, had the whole manor of Bartlets, alias Herewards, in Wickmere, in Norfolk, with the advowson. (fn. 5) The Parks were seated at Ilketshall, till Joan, sole daughter and heiress, married John Duke, of Brampton. This estate remained with the Dukes for several generations, of whom it was purchased by the Richmonds, and passed by the marriage of Mary, daughter and heiress of William Richmond, to Charles Garneys, Esq., of Hedenham. From the Garneys it passed again by marriage to James Calthorpe, Esq.

In the tenth of Henry VIII., Sir Richard Wingfield held the manor of Ilketshall of the King, by knight's service, and the rent of one penny per annum. By the inquisitio post mortem Jacobi Bungay, taken November 2nd, in the tenth of Queen Elizabeth, he held lands in Ilketshall St. Andrew, of Peter Rede, Esq., as parcel of his manor of Ellys; also in Beccles, of John Blennerhasset, as of his manor of Barsham; and in Ilketshall and Shipmeadow.

In the fifteenth of Elizabeth, Thomas Rouse, Arm: held lands in St. Laurence, Bungay, &c., valued at £13 per annum, and also the manor of Ilketshall Bardolph: he died 20th February in that year, leaving his son, Thomas Rouse, his heir, aged about twelve years. These manors and estates have subsequently merged into various channels. In 1561, this district had the following number of freeholders. St. Andrew Ilketshall 10; among whom was Edward Tasburgh, Gent.; Saint Laurence 3, and St. Margaret Ilketshall 4. (fn. 6)

The several churches in these parishes became appropriated to the Benedictine Priory in Bungay, except that of the Holy Trinity, which was given to the Monastery of Barlings, in Lincolnshire.

Dugdale cites a long and interesting charter of Henry II., granted at the petition of Roger Glanville and Gundreda his wife, confirming to the nuns of Bungay, inter alia, the churches of St. Cross (St. Mary) in Bungay, All Saints Mettingham, St. Margaret, St. Andrew and St. Laurence Ilketshall. St. John's Church was afterwards conveyed to them, as before shown.

A second charter of the same King mentions several donations to the nuns of Bungay, among which are the gifts of Thomas, fil: Gilb: de Ilketshall, the homage of Ulketel the merchant, and the donations of John Hockedez of Ilketshall, who gave the homage of Alan, fil: Arnulphi de Metingham.

In 1474, John Bernard, Esq., of Norwich, bequeathed legacies to the churches of St. John, St. Laurence, and St. Margaret Ilketshall; and also made a bequest to Mettingham Castle.

The Liberty of the Duke of Norfolk includes this district.

St. Andrew Ilketshall.

St. Andrew Ilketshall was the lordship of James de Ilketshall, in the ninth of Edward I. The interests of this family here are given in a previous page. In the fifth of Queen Elizabeth it was held by Sir Henry Denny, who sold it to Sir Nicholas Bacon, whose heirs, in 1657, re-sold it to William Gymmingham, Gent., of St. John's Ilketshall, who by his will, dated October 8th, 1658, left his wife, Rebecca, a life interest therein, and directed it to be sold on her decease. She held it till 1677, when she alienated it, with the property called St. John's Hall, to John Hunt, Esq., and it became united with the Mettingham Castle estate. The soil of all the commons and waste lands within the parish appears to belong to this manor; there being divers presentments in the court books for persons commoning, not being tenants of the manor; and for incroachments and nuisances therein. In 1751, forfeitures were remitted, on payment, by Thomas Clendon, Gent., of £21 to the lord, for having cut down timber trees, &c. (fn. 7) The manor now belongs to the Rev. Jeremy Day.

The appropriation of the rectory to the nuns of Bungay was granted as early as the reign of Henry II. They continued in possession of the great tithes and the advowson of the vicarage till the dissolution of religious houses by Henry VIII., who, on the 18th of December, in the twenty-ninth year of his reign, granted them to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, to be held by him and the heirs of his body in capite, &c. On the 27th of February, 1724, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, sold " all and singular the rectory or parsonage impropriate of Ilketshall St. Andrew, with the glebe lands, tithes, &c., thereto belonging." to Henry Williams, of Bungay, for £265.

By indrē of bargain and sale, dated March 9th, 1778, between Sarah Williams, relict of Robert Williams, of the first part; Henry Williams, of Marlesford, Clk., only son and heir-at-law of Robert Williams, deceased, and Sarah Williams, of Bungay, spinster; said Henry Williams and Sarah Williams being the only surviving issue of the said Robert Williams, of the second part; and Philip Walker, of Lowestoft, merchant, of the third part, in consideration of the natural love and affection, &c., and for barring all entails, &c.; the said Sarah Williams, the elder, Sarah Williams, the younger, and Henry Williams, did grant, bargain and sell to Philip Walker, his heirs and assigns, the said premises, to hold to him, to the use of Henry Williams, and his heirs and assigns for ever. (fn. 8) The said Henry Williams afterwards contracted with the proprietors of lands in the parish of St. Andrew for the sale of the great tithes issuing out of their respective estates. (fn. 9) In 1779, the Rev. Henry Williams, of Marlesford, sold to Mr. Arnold the great tithes growing on his farm in St. Andrew Ilketshall, for £189. (fn. 10) In the same year Williams conveyed to Dr. Tanner the great tithes of his lands. Williams executed a covenant to keep the chancel in repair, and to pay all procurations and synodals. (fn. 11) The unsold portion of the great tithes was afterwards purchased by Alexander Browne, Esq., and is now the property of Elizabeth, his eldest daughter, the wife of John Page Scott, Esq., of Norwich. The vicarage passed from the Howards to the same family of Williams, from whom it was transferred to the trustees of Bungay School, as will be shown hereafter, who are the present patrons.

The parish contains 1694 acres, 3 roods, 9 perches of strong, but fertile land, whereof 71 acres are commons. The glebes amount to 29 acres. The great tithes have been commuted for £395. 12s. 2½d., of which the impropriatrix receives £128. 11s. 1d., the residue being the property of divers owners. The vicarial tithes are commuted for £130. 7s. 7½d. The Rector of St. John's has a portion of tithes amounting to £27 per annum out of this parish, and the Rector of Shipmeadow £1. 10s.

The population amounted in 1841 to 548 souls.

The Church
is a structure of considerable antiquity, and comprises a nave and chancel only: the former is covered with a fine oak roof, but the latter is sadly disfigured by sundry rods of iron, which have been stretched across it to prevent the further spread of its walls. The walls of the nave batter internally in a very remarkable degree, thereby producing an unpleasant effect, and impressing the unpractised eye with an idea of insecurity. The nave has two doorways in the circular or Norman style, and that on the south side is richly ornamented with the zigzag, or chevron moulding. The tower is remarkably lofty, and, standing on an elevated site, commands extensive views over the neighbourhood: it is circular, with narrow pointed windows, and crowned with an octagonal incumbent. Against the south wall of the chancel is a fine inarched surbased monument, which is, probably, the founder's tomb. The pinnacles, and moulding of its ogee arch, are terminated with bold and well-wrought finials, barbarously clogged with limewash. The font is octangular, with eight plain shields. In 1810 there was a screen between the body of the church and the chancel, which is now destroyed. The royal arms were placed over the centre compartment, and the armorial ensigns of the Howards stood on each side; the dexter shield having these charges—1. Howard. 2. Brotherton. 3. Warren. 4. Mowbray. 5. Fitzalan. 6. Cloun, arg. a chief az. 7. Maltravers. 8. Widville, arg. a fess and a chief az. These shields have been placed against the wall of the nave by the Rev. F. Barkway, the present Curate.

Monuments.—"Under this stone lieth the body of John Verdon, Gent., which was forsaken of the soule the 28th day of May, 1624, but expectes it againe at ye day of the resurrection."

"Thomas Elfe, of St. Andrew's, died Oct. 23, 1705, æt. 84." Elfe bears . . . . on a fess . . . . between 3 crescents . . . . as many escallop-shells . . . . .

Vicars of St. Andrew Ilketshall.

Vicars. Date. Patrons.
William Atte Welle de Dychingham (bis) 1327 Prioress and Convent of Bungay.
Robert Kydewyne 1349 Id.
Stephen Horne 1361 Id.
Richard Fraunceys 1374 Id.
Robert Segrave 1389 Id.
Simon Bond de Carleton 1391 Id.
William, son of Roger Hacon de Cantele 1393 Id.
William Pycard 1394 Id.
Galfridus Shaver 1405 Id.
Thomas Man 1409 Id.
John Blackhod 1422 Id.
Richard Holl 1426 Id.
Simon Jenvey 1427 Prioress and Convent of Bungay.
Richard Cristmess 1439 Id.
Robert Balle 1446 Id.
William Serjeant 1448 Id.
John Bakhows 1451 The Bishop, by lapse.
John Baddesworth 1454 Prioress and Convent of Bungay.
John Dalton 1458 Id.
Edmund Sawer 1462 Id.
John Joynte 1473 Id.
John Wellys 1478 Id.
Robert Vyncent 1486 Bishop, by lapse.
John Cobbe 1501 Prioress and Convent of Bungay.
Stephen Logan
Robert Ashby 1518 Id.
John Valentyn, alias Larke 1547 The King.
Robert Randall 1564 Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
John Leake 1572 John Blennerhasset, William Dyx, and W. Cautrell, Esqrs. (fn. 12)
Thomas Leake 1578 Assignees of Philip, Earl of Surrey.
William Jones (twice presented in) 1590 The Crown.
William Golding 1593 Id.
John Shardelowe
John Welton 1644 Lionel, Earl of Middlesex, and others.
William Nuttall 1685 Thomas Howard, of Worksop.
Francis Smee 1727 Henry Williams, Gent.
Thomas Whitaker 1748 Richd. Nelson, Henry Williams, and others.
Robert English 1754 Henry Williams and Richd. Nelson.
William Pochin 1784 Trustees of Bungay School.
John Gilbert 1809 Id.

Estimatio illius xii marc: estimatio vicariæ ejusdem vi marc. Denarij S. Petri, ixd.


  • 1. He bore gules, a cross moline arg., a baton az. obt. sine prole.
  • 2. Harl. MSS., Blomefield, &c.
  • 3. Harl. MSS.
  • 4. Tower Records, 2 Edward III. memb. 9.
  • 5. Blomefield.
  • 6. Lansdowne MSS. vol. v.
  • 7. Jermyn MSS.
  • 8. Jermyn MSS.
  • 9. Id.
  • 10. Id.
  • 11. Id.
  • 12. Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, whom Queen Elizabeth beheaded, having in 1558 put his vast estates in trust to William Cautrell and others, the Queen allowed him to continue to act as trustee until she sent the Earl of Arundel to the Tower, when she appointed William Cautrell to act for herself. As John Blennerhasset's name appears as the duke's trustee also, it will, in some measure perhaps, account for the gift of the advowson of Shipmeadow, before mentioned, which was made in this year.