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.