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Alston Court and War Memorial, Nayland Village centre.jpg
Alston Court and War Memorial, located in the centre of Nayland village
Suffolk UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Suffolk
Population938 (2011)
OS grid reference TL975342
Civil parish
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Colchester
Postcode district CO6
Dialling code 01206
Police Suffolk
Fire Suffolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°58′16″N0°52′26″E / 51.97117°N 0.87384°E / 51.97117; 0.87384 Coordinates: 51°58′16″N0°52′26″E / 51.97117°N 0.87384°E / 51.97117; 0.87384

Nayland is a village and former civil parish in the Stour Valley on the Suffolk side of the border between Suffolk and Essex in England. In 2011 the built up area had a population of 938. [1] In 188 the civil parish had a population of 901. [2]

Civil parish Territorial designation and lowest tier of local government in England

In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which historically played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; civil and religious parishes were formally split into two types in the 19th century and are now entirely separate. The unit was devised and rolled out across England in the 1860s.

River Stour, Suffolk river in Suffolk, United Kingdom

The River Stour is a river in East Anglia, England. It is 47 miles (76 km) long and forms most of the county boundary between Suffolk to the north, and Essex to the south. It rises in eastern Cambridgeshire, passes to the east of Haverhill, through Cavendish, Bures, Sudbury, Nayland, Stratford St Mary, Dedham and flows through the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It becomes tidal just before Manningtree in Essex and joins the North Sea at Harwich.

Suffolk County of England

Suffolk is an East Anglian county of historic origin in England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east. The county town is Ipswich; other important towns include Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, and Felixstowe, one of the largest container ports in Europe.


St James Church Nayland St James.jpg
St James Church


From an article by Rosemary Knox, Wissington [3]

Nayland village and the adjoining rural hamlet of Wissington (these days usually called 'Wiston'), were originally two separate parishes; in 1883 they were united into one civil parish, Nayland-with-Wissington, although the two ecclesiastical parishes remain separate.

Nayland-with-Wissington is a civil parish which comprises the larger village of Nayland and the adjoining rural village of Wissington. They were originally two separate parishes and were united into one civil parish in 1884. However, the ecclesiastical parishes remain separate.

Nayland and Wiston lie on the northern bank of the River Stour, which divides Essex and Suffolk. Originally they were two different parishes with different histories. The name Nayland means an island, and the village developed on the higher ground amidst the lower river flood plain. It provided a good place for both a safe crossing of the river and an early manorial centre, probably a wooden castle. These advantages brought a market by 1227 and, by the late Middle Ages, it was a successful small town. The owners of the manor moved away and the little town was ruled by its cloth merchants, many of whom were very well off by the standards of the day. They were surpassed in wealth only by the merchants of Lavenham and Long Melford. They built fine Tudor houses and a fine church and the prosperity continued into the beginning of the seventeenth century. From then on the cloth trade began to move away, and although other trades like leather and soap manufacture developed, Nayland came to rely mainly on being a centre of commerce for the surrounding countryside. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the village drifted gently on, a relative backwater. The navigation on the river opened up but it did not bring a large increase in trade and the Navigation Company struggled to survive. The good result of this period of partial stagnation was that relative poverty prevented the beautiful old houses being knocked down to provide smart new homes and thus Nayland still possesses its Tudor and Stuart streets.

Market town European settlement with the medieval right to host markets

A market town is a European settlement that obtained, in the Middle Ages, the right to host markets, which distinguished it from a village or city. In Britain, small rural towns with a hinterland of villages are still commonly called market towns, as sometimes reflected in their names.

Lavenham village and civil parish in Babergh, Suffolk, England

Lavenham is a village, civil parish and electoral ward in the Babergh district, in the county of Suffolk, England. It is noted for its Guildhall, Little Hall, 15th-century church, half-timbered medieval cottages and circular walks. In the medieval period it was among the twenty wealthiest settlements in England. Today, it is a popular day-trip destination for people from across the country along with another historic wool town in the area, Long Melford.

Long Melford Village in the United Kingdom

Long Melford is a large village and civil parish in the Babergh district, in the county of Suffolk, England. It is on Suffolk's border with Essex, which is marked by the River Stour, approximately 16 miles (26 km) from Colchester and 14 miles (23 km) from Bury St Edmunds. It is one of Suffolk's "wool towns" and is a former market town. The parish also includes the hamlets of Bridge Street and Cuckoo Tye.

Nayland did have a small agricultural area but most of it lay out in the middle of the parish of Wiston and is nowadays considered to be part of Wiston. Although the official name for Wiston is Wissington, early documents suggest that Wiston is the original name, and it is certainly the one the local people always use. It had been a part of the manor of Nayland in 1066 but by 1087 had been given to a separate Norman family who lived across the river in Essex at Little Horkesley. From then on the history of the two places diverged. Wiston was administered from over the river and its links were with Little Horkesley rather than Nayland. The Lords of the Manor built the little Norman church, which still survives as a separate parish church, and they ran their estates in Wiston in conjunction with their land in Essex. The early wills and the taxation lists which still exist show only farmers in Wiston, and it remained purely an agricultural parish until the end of the nineteenth century. The manor was sold to more distant owners and the old manorial tenements became copyholds and then freehold farms.

Little Horkesley village in United Kingdom

Little Horkesley is a village in Essex, England. It is situated approximately 4 miles north of Colchester on the south bank of the River Stour. In the time of Elizabeth I, the manor of Little Horkesley belonged to the Wentworth family, a branch of the notable Yorkshire family who became Earl of Stafford, and then passed by inheritance to a branch of the St. Lawrence family who had the title Baron and later Earl of Howth.

Norman architecture sub-type of Romanesque architecture

The term Norman architecture is used to categorise styles of Romanesque architecture developed by the Normans in the various lands under their dominion or influence in the 11th and 12th centuries. In particular the term is traditionally used for English Romanesque architecture. The Normans introduced large numbers of castles and fortifications including Norman keeps, and at the same time monasteries, abbeys, churches and cathedrals, in a style characterised by the usual Romanesque rounded arches and especially massive proportions compared to other regional variations of the style.

Parish church church which acts as the religious centre of a parish

A parish church in Christianity is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish. In many parts of the world, especially in rural areas, the parish church may play a significant role in community activities, often allowing its premises to be used for non-religious community events. The church building reflects this status, and there is considerable variety in the size and style of parish churches. Many villages in Europe have churches that date back to the Middle Ages, but all periods of architecture are represented.

The village and the surrounding area, like much of East Anglia, was a hotbed of Puritan sentiment during much of the 17th century. At least as early as 1629, parishioners such as Gregory Stone were censured for not kneeling at communion. By the mid-1630s, the Stone family and others had departed for the Massachusetts Bay Colony as part of the wave of emigration that occurred during the Great Migration. [4]

East Anglia region of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

East Anglia is a geographical area in the East of England. The area included has varied but the legally defined NUTS 2 statistical unit comprises the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, including the City of Peterborough unitary authority area. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Angles, a tribe whose name originated in Anglia, northern Germany.

Massachusetts Bay Colony English possession in North America between 1628 and 1684

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was an English settlement on the east coast of America in the 17th century around the Massachusetts Bay, the northernmost of the several colonies later reorganized as the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The lands of the settlement were located in southern New England, with initial settlements situated on two natural harbors and surrounding land about 15.4 miles (24.8 km) apart—the areas around Salem and Boston.

In 1883 the new West Suffolk county council decided that the two strangely divided civil parishes should be joined together as Nayland with Wissington, a process which Wiston resented but could not prevent. The needs of the two parts of parish, part semi urban, part agricultural, still make a slightly uneasy union. The Nayland with Wissington Parish Council was created in 1894 as a result of the Local Government Act of that year.

West Suffolk (county) English administrative county (1889-1974)

West Suffolk was an administrative county of England created in 1889 from part of the county of Suffolk. It survived until 1974 when it was rejoined with East Suffolk. Its county town was Bury St Edmunds.

But Wiston had not disappeared. In 1896 Dr Jane Walker bought two farms (both technically in Nayland) and founded the East Anglian Sanatorium. This opened in 1901 for private patients and soon a lower block for free patients was added. A children's block was also built. The writer George Gissing found himself as a patient here for a couple of months in 1901, and the Canadian artist Emily Carr was a patient for over a year in 1903-04 [5] . The Sanatorium continued to treat TB until that disease was conquered in the 1950s, when it closed. The lower block was sold off for housing and the upper block became a hospital for the mentally handicapped. While they functioned, the Sanatorium and the hospital were the centre of Wiston, as they provided most of the local employment. In 1991 the hospital itself closed under 'Care in the Community'. The original 'arts and crafts' Sanatorium, designed by Smith and Brewer, became a listed building and was converted into eight houses, while the rest was knocked down and replaced by another eight houses. Wiston still has seven working farms, six being old Wiston farms and one an old Nayland holding, while the other small farms and smallholdings have been absorbed into the bigger ones, leaving it is still predominantly agricultural. The mechanisation of farming has, however, cut the need for workers dramatically, so that most of the residents of Wiston now work either at home or elsewhere.

Nayland Today

The parish of Nayland-with-Wissington is in the district of Babergh and the parliamentary constituency of South Suffolk. It has a population of 938 and is situated in the Dedham Vale, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the River Stour, the boundary between Suffolk and Essex. It was bypassed in 1969 by the A134 road which links Colchester, six miles south of Nayland, to Sudbury, 9 miles to its north.

There are 15th century buildings in the village, Alston Court being one of these (see image) which contains a 13th-century section.

The village church of St. James contains a famous painting, Christ Blessing the Bread and Wine, by John Constable.

Littlegarth School has been located at Horkesley Park, Nayland, since 1994.

Reference works that relate to Nayland

Source [6]

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  1. "Nayland Built-up area". Nomis. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  2. "Population Statistics Nayland CP/Ch through time". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  3. Welcome to the Nayland and Wiston Community Website – Suffolk, UK
  4. Thompson, Roger, Mobility & Migration, East Anglian Founders of New England, 1629–1640, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994, 212–213.
  5. (Blanchard, 1987: 90-97)
  6. Welcome to the History References Page