Trip to Timworth, Woolpit, Westhorpe and Finningham.


A pretty cold and frosty morning and we set off for Timworth. The main place to visit was St Andrews church to have a scout around the graveyard. Like many other churchyards though I couldn't see any Birds at all on the headstones. My third great-grand uncle, William Bird, moved to Timworth from Wordwell and had some children here in the mid 19th century so although it was a long shot it was worth having a look and just nice at the same time to see the area. One thing that strikes you about the area though is just how little there really is there. The church itself is isolated - church lane is flanked by trees and the church itself sits within a ring of tree surrounded by fields. As with many other villages in Suffolk, the reason for the churches remoteness is believed to be down to the Black Death. In terms of population, this entire part of the county seems to have never recovered from those days.


Back to Woolpit for another visit and the second time searching for Arthur Bird and Amelia Simmonds. They may be buried at St Marys but there just isn't a headstone. Who knows why? I'm currently trying to get a map of burial plots from someone but it's proving difficult; I'm not giving up until I know where they are. Update 03/03/2008: It looks like I'm going to have to give up. Apparently, after lengthy discussions with verious persons connected with St Marys it seems that if there is no headsotne, the plots wouldn't have been recorded. At least, that's what I've been told. I'll probably pursue this again at some point but it will need to be taken to the next level.

After completing the second sweep of St Marys churchyard we checked out the methodist church just around the corner. Arthur, my second great-grandfather was a lay-preacher and devoted member of the methodist church. It's in the methodist chapel in Woolpit that my great-grandfather Kennith met my great-grandmother Nellie Durrant. Here's a couple of photos of the church. Funny to think that this place is so pivotal in my existence....

Front view of the Methodist church.
A side view of the church.

After checking out the Methodist church briefly we moved on to Abbey farm, a small farm on the way out of Woolpit towards Rattlesden and listed as a residence of Arthur Bird (my second great grandfather) in his obituary. The farm itself seems to have been renovated recently, but is still a beautiful thatched building in keeping with the area.

Abbey Farm, Woolpit, Suffolk

  • #1 The entrance to the track leading to Abbey Farm.

  • #2 Further up the dirt track.

  • #3 Welcome to Abbey Farm.

  • #4 The cottages at the start of Abbey Farm.

  • #5 Another view of the cottages.

  • #6 Looking through the trees towards Abbey Farm itself.

  • #7 Abbey farm.

  • #8 A closer view of Abbey Farm.

  • #9 Directly in front of Abbey Farm.

Westhorpe and Finningham

About a 15 mile drive from Woolpit we moved on to Westhorpe and Finningham. Unfortunately, although I had an address for both Westhorpe and Finningham we didn't track down either on this particular trip. We couldn't find Hall Farm Cottages in Westhorpe and we might have found Lime Tree House in Finningham if we had remembered to bring the address. In Finningham we did manage to find a headstone with a Bird on it! Still, I later found out that Samuel Bird couldn't be linked into the tree at present. If anyone out there is related to a Samuel Bird born in Rochford, Essex in around 1806 I've got some lovely photo's of his grave. :)