Hargrave Heritage Project


HH Hargrave Heritage is a community project to gather and publish the history of this ancient settlement for current and past residents, students and those fascinated by the story of West Suffolk’s significant contribution to the nation’s past. It was initiated through a partnership of the Parish Council and the Parochial Church Council of St Edmund's Church.

The village’s history and that of its residents was unwritten when in 2020 the project group of seven residents got together to gather what information they could find during the setting-up phase of 12 months, with a view to publishing for free access through a website and public exhibition. Grant funding for this establishment phase is provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The establishment phase will only lay the foundation for what is intended to be an ongoing, evolutionary and dynamic project, continuing to gather today’s events for tomorrow’s history and to add to, and amend, the foundation archive. The chosen media of the website and exhibition will accommodate with ease this evolutionary process. Continuing community engagement is key to the ultimate success of this significant investment in the settlement of Hargrave, whether through active membership of the Hargrave Heritage Group or through individual contributions of information, anecdotes, documents or old photos.
The first record of a settlement at Hargrave comes from the reign of Edward the Confessor in the 1040s, nearly 1000 years ago. But archeological finds suggest a much earlier community. A flint axe head found at Southwood Park has been dated to the Neolithic Age, 10,000 - 4500 BC, a period when the first fixed human settlements were being established and agriculture invented. Finds of a Roman coin at Stonehall Farm and Roman pottery at Southwood Park suggest an existing settlement 1700/1800 years ago.

Unlike adjoining villages such as Chevington or Lidgate, Hargrave’s history is not collected and published in a book. The project group ha
s gathered what could be found - not helped by the Covid-19 pandemic restricting access to many sources - and there will be further information to add in the future. Ancient factual history is more difficult to discover and is often the subject of conflicting historians' opinions or speculation. You are therefore invited to help our quest by writing to our group to tell us what you know at hargraveheritage@gmail.com

The project group hope you will enjoy learning about our small village and those who have lived here for over 1000 years.
Jill de Laat
Simon de Laat
Peter Reddick
Paul Rogers
Dave Taylor
Jill Upton

Building Work Progress
(01/06/20) The underpinning work was completed in May 2020 and is now being allowed to settle before repairing the cracks and making good.

(01/12/20) The PCC are delighted to report that, 6 years after significant cracking was first noticed in the chancel of St Edmunds church, the underpinning project to rectify this structural instability was completed at the end of November. They offer their thanks to all donors who helped make this possible. Read more...