History of St Margaret of Antioch's Church, Linstead
The entry in the Domesday Book tells us that: In Linstede Wulfric, a free man, held the manor before 1066. Now Walter holds it under Robert Malet; 60 acres of land. 6 smallholders. 2 ploughs in lordship; 1 men’s plough. Woodland then for 30 pigs, now for 20; meadow 2 acres. 1 cob. Value before 1066 20s, now 30s. Not a huge amount has happened since. Sadly, the Greyhound pulled its last pint about 50 years ago and the village shop closed over thirty years ago. Notwithstanding, there is a strong community spirit and a range of village events each year.
The main industry is agriculture. There are also a number of other enterprises within the village.
Jerry Green’s Dogs’ Home is a charitable institution for the rescue of dogs and their subsequent welfare. Most of the village’s dogs came from here!
There is the Camel Centre which is open from Easter to autumn time. This has a selection of animals, in addition to camels and provides good entertainment and education for children of all ages.
There are two establishments, Wood Farm & Grove Farm, which offer livery, riding tuition, Etc.
There is Easitron, steel fabricators and Linstead Farm & Garden Machinery. These all occupy the site of the original smithy.
St Margaret of Antioch, Linstead Parva is at the extreme eastern end of the village, where the B1123 is crossed by the Huntingfield to Rumburgh road. For Sat Nav afficianados the postcode is IP19 0AD.
It was mostly built at the beginning of the 13th century. It was constructed as a chapel-of-ease, marking the end of the lands of the Cluniac Priory at Mendham. (Pics A & F)
Some of the original windows remain but most were replaced in the 16th century, and are surrounded by Tudor brick. The windows were paid for by subscriptions from individual families. The font is probably late 14th century and is octagonal. One face is uncarved, indicating that it was probably placed against the west wall of the church. It was placed on its present base in the late 19th century. The bowl is on a plinth, supported by four lions. It carries the signs of the four Evangelists, interspersed with demi-angels. (Pic B) Will Dowsing visited the church in the 17th century, removing the statues from the niches on the outside of the west wall. He removed carving from the beam-ends and also reorganised the carving on the font.
In the 18th century the church was fitted with box-pews and also with the present belfry. There is a picture showing the interior of the church as it was at that time. The bell, dated 1789, is from the Whitechapel bell-foundry.
At the end of the 19th century, the church was completely restored. The present furniture was installed and the porch & vestry were added. A contemporary newspaper cutting reports on the re-dedication. (Pic C)
In the vestry are photographs of St. Peter’s, Linstead Magna. (Pic D) This has now entirely disappeared. Some gravestones are now in the churchyard of St. Margaret’s. The plate, including a pre-Reformation cup and cover, is now in the Cathedral Treasury at Bury St Edmund’s. The Decalogue, together with some of the pews and pew-ends, were brought to St. Margaret’s before St. Peter’s was demolished. The font of St. Peter’s, together with its bell, went to the church of St. Augustine of Hippo, Ipswich, which was being built at the time that St. Peter’s was declared redundant.