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From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)

Settled in the 1070's, the oldest reference thus found of Sapiston is in the history of the Drurys, one of the oldest Suffolk families. Matilda, one of that family, married Henry de Sapiston to become Matilda de Sapiston around 1185.

Sapiston church dates back to the 12th century, (a little before the time of Matilda). It has not been in use since 1972 when the parishes of Sapiston and Honington were combined. The church is now maintained by the Churches Conservation Trust[1] and, although Sapiston's church is redundant, occasional services are still held there. For more details and photos of Sapiston church, see Simon Knott's informative page on his site Suffolk Churches

The village was originally right by the ford across the Blackbourn (or Black Bourn), but During the 14th Century the entire village moved a few hundred meters north to escape from the Black Death. Now only the church St Andrew's and The Grange farmhouse remain at the village’s original location.

It was in Sapiston that the Suffolk poet Robert Bloomfield, author of "The Farmers Boy" (1800), worked from the age of ten to the age of fifteen. He was a farm labourer on the farm of his uncle William Austin (who is buried in Sapiston churchyard). Bloomfield was born in nearby Honington, and the church there contains a memorial to the poet, as well as many notes from admirers.

The local lord of the manor was the Duke of Grafton in neighbouring Euston. The first Duke of Grafton, previously Earl of Euston, was Henry Fitzroy, the son of King Charles II. The third Duke of Grafton was briefly Prime Minister. The current Duke of Grafton is the 11th, and his son is the Earl of Euston.

[edit] About Sapiston

Village Life & Folk Remembered a book by Syd Thurlow was written detailing many local stories about Honington & Sapiston. Here's what the Gazetteer of Suffolk had to say about it in 1855. Kelly's Directory of Suffolk described it like this in 1912.

[edit] Sapiston and Honington

The map below shows how small and close together Sapiston and Honington are. The distance between the two red outlines is only about 200 metres! Note that the red line does not represent the size of the two villages!

The local Pub is actually in Honington and called the Honington Fox Pub.

[edit] Populations

The populations of the villages over the years were:

Sapiston Honington Source
1855 255 331 Source
1881 263 308 Source now offline
1891 233 259 Source
1901 211 236 Source
1911 197 221 Source (for Sapiston)
1991 160 1160
(because of the air force base)
Source now offline
1999 160 1040 Source now offline
2001 164 1247 Source

[edit] Local Walks

Local walks shown here will take you through some of the beautiful countryside about which Robert Bloomfield wrote. The descendants of his patron, the Duke of Grafton, still reside at nearby Euston Hall and own much of the land over which the walks shown here pass. The Fox pub is happy for you to leave your car there during your walk.

The Walks:

(1) 1.5 miles (45 minutes) (a) From Church, Mill Road, (b) Sapiston Mill, (c) Clay Line or (d) Hilly Close if wet, B Road over Bridge (e) River Path.

(2) 3.5 Miles (75 minutes) Follow Footpath (1) but instead of returning to Honington, carry on to (f) George Cottages on the Coney Weston road. Turn left over the stile and then take the field path, then over the next two stiles (g). Cross the river by the footbridge and turn left along field boundary. Follow way markey signs into (h) Water Lane and then rejoin River Walk.

[edit] Dad's Army

This sleepy part of Suffolk proved to be an ideal filming location for the 1970s British TV show Dad's Army. In common with much of the surrounding area, Sapiston and Honington were used for part of the series, in particular the episode "Dads Army Things that go Bump in the Night".

David Croft the director/producer of Dad's Army, 'Allo 'Allo!, Are You Being Served?, Hi-de-Hi!, etc lived in Honington.

[edit] References

(Source: Wikipedia)
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