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20th October 2014

THE VILLAGE

Beyton is a small, rural, Suffolk village lying 5 miles east of the historic town of

Bury St Edmunds and 8 miles west of Stowmarket. It is situated just to the south

of the A14 and 2 miles to the south of the Ipswich to Cambridge railway line

with a station at Thurston.

 

The village existed before the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Domesday Book

refers to Begotona, and mentions a homestead, but not the church.  The antiquity

of the settlement can be seen in the Saxon church tower and a bricked-up

Norman doorway in the north wall. The tower is one of only four such

buttressed structures found in the western half of Suffolk. The village was formed

from two settlements – Beyton Green and a small cluster of houses around the c

hurch, situated on the highest land in the area – almost 70m above sea level.

 

At the time of the first post-war census, in 1954, the population was 394. The

Village Plan of 1977 records that in 1975 the population had remained virtually

unchanged at 398, but the highest figure recorded up to that date was 447 in 1961.

The current electorate is just over 550. The atmosphere of the village is distinctly

rural (an attribute the village protects) and closely connected to the surrounding

arable farmland. 

 

In 1979 a new A45 road (re-designated A14 in 1996) was opened which

by-passed Beyton. This relieved the village of all but local traffic and altered its

whole atmosphere. In 1991 the village sign was erected, reflecting the church and

four geese representative of the flock which have frequented the attractive village

green for many years.

 

Beyton won the Best Kept Village title in 1974, obtaining 95 marks out of 100 and

beating 28 other entrants – in latter years an attempt was thwarted when judges

felt the droppings from the village geese were detrimental! The village is very

protective of its famous geese, and no further entries to the competition have

been made.

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