Worlington - A brief history

The village of Worlington, Suffolk lies on the south bank of the River Lark on the Fordham to Mildenhall road. It is one mile southwest of Mildenhall, six miles north of Newmarket (the home of horseracing) and forms part of the district of Forest Heath.

There is evidence of settlement from both the Roman and Saxon periods in the village. extensive finds of pottery, artefacts and coins have been found in the surrounding fields.

Worlington is listed in the domesday book as having a mill and two fisheries, which suggests that at the time the village lay on the edge of the old fen sea.

By the 13th century the village was split into two manors, both of whom obtained royal permission to hold markets and annual fairs. The location of these sites have been sadly lost in time, although a fair is said to have been held in the village until as late as 1899.

Worlington Golf Links Halt was added to the Mildenhall to Cambridge line and opened 0n 20 November 1922, serving villagers and golfers alike.It is said that golfers who had boarded at Mildenhall would drop their clubs from the window as the train passed the course and then walk back along the track to retrieve them! The halt remained active until the closing of the line to passengers on 18 june 1962. Click here for an interesting read about the old railway line.

The village school opened in 1840 and could cater for around 60 pupils, although by the turn of the 20th century the numbers had dwindled to around 35. It eventually closed in 1959 and is now a private residence.

Until about 1920 the River Lark was navigable almost as far as Bury St Edmunds thirteen miles to the southeast. In the opposite direction it was the route by which good Suffolk barley was transported to the brewery at Ely, thirteen miles to the northwest. In the 1800s the main source of transport would have been the River Lark followed by the road and then later, the railway. The Maltings was where hops and barley were brought from the River Lark, up through a cut-off channel, to begin the process of making good quality ale for the brewery. Part of the Maltings, now refurbished, can still be seen in the heart of the village, which was once the industrial centre of Worlington.

The Walnut Tree pub, formerly The Chequers, was built as an Inn selling ale and food with the use of grazing land nearby.

Manor Farm, dating back to the 1600s, has a fine example of an Elizabethan drovers barn, once used for cattle being driven from the fens to Bury St Edmunds market.

The barrel maker from Coopers Cottage and the blacksmith from the Old Forge both lived and worked in the area. 

Although Worlington is a small village with approximately 375 residents, there is a strong sense of community, with the church and other organisations frequently holding fundraising and community events.


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  6. By Joyce Herbert on June 4, 2016

    I am looking for information on Mary Owers she was born 1738 in Worlington Suffolk she married a Richard Spillman whi I believe was from Mildenhall any information would be gratefully received.

    from Joyce Herbert.

  7. By Michelle Ferris on May 12, 2016

    Hello Mike ,sorry for delay. As soon as possible I will ask Church warden to see if they could kindly look at church records. I will also look in grave yard to see if any Prykes are buried.


  8. By History Hunter on May 11, 2016

    Can you possibly tell me any more about the fatal railway accident that happened, just in Worlington parish, on the border with Isleham, on a farm crossing, in about 1960? I believe that a late-running 2-car diesel train from Mildenhall hit a lorry on the occupation crossing and that three workmen were killed? The train was reportedly doing 50 mph - twice the line speed. Has the PC a copy of the BR accident report, or inquest reports, giving the findings and who, if anybody, was to blame? Thank you!

  9. By Mike Hillier on May 1, 2016

    Hi Michelle
    Further to my previous mail to you Re: John Pryke; in 1841 he was living with his two daughters, Susan and Mary in Church Street, Worlington.

  10. By Mike Hillier on May 1, 2016

    Hi Michelle

    Thank you for your reply, I am sorry for getting back to you so late. The information I have is John Pryke was born in Worlington c1780 (sorry my misspell on my original email to you). Are there any records in the village to cover this period? The children of John Pryke and Susan Daniels were: James Edward, Mary Ann, John and Susan Pryke. I would be grateful for any information that may come to light. I am on Ancestry but unfortunately have hit a brick wall on this one.
    Many Thanks

  11. By Michelle Ferris on April 4, 2016

    Hello Mike,
    Do you mean Worlington or Worlingham ? This is the Village website for Worlington, West Suffolk near Newmarket.
    I have looked on Ancestry and there are several records for a John Pryke in Suffolk. Do you have access to Ancestry?
    Look forward to your reply
    Michelle Ferris

  12. By Mike Hillier on March 27, 2016

    I am researching my family and have discovered that one of my 3rd Great Grandfathers was born in Worlingham. His name is John Pryke and he was born around 1780, He married Susan Daniels, although I'm not sure whether she came from Worlingham or not. They had, I believe, 4 children. I would be extremely grateful if there are any historians in the village who can shed any light on John or his family.
    Kind regards
    Mike Hillier
    Haveringland, Norfolk.

  13. By Michelle on March 19, 2016

    Thanks Nick for a fun evening of Bingo last night. All the volunteers are just wonderful and full of enthusiasm in trying to give our community friendly social events and at the same time helping to raise much needed funds for the hall. I'm sure those that came to support this new event had a good time. Many thanks to Lucy and family for donating the bingo machine. Looking forward to more fund raising events at the Village Hall.

  14. By David Webb on March 4, 2016

    The Worlie Café is good value on the first Friday of every month at 1130 till 1400. I am a satisfied customer from Newmarket. Well worth the 30 minute journey on the 16 bus.

  15. By Michelle on January 31, 2016

    Good to see more WPC info/updates

  16. By M A Ferris Hall on December 8, 2015

    At last , a website that's updated and lots of village hall news although need more Parish Council info please.

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