Onehouse in Pictures
Situated about 2 miles outside Stowmarket in Suffolk, Onehouse is a unique community – there is no other hamlet or village by that name in England.
The name Onehouse means a lonely cottage or house, clearly not a reference to the substantial number of residents who live here now.
Despite not appearing on many maps, Onehouse has a long history – one of the earliest references is in the Domesday book. Until the 1950’s it was a scattering of some dozen houses along Lower Road and about 15 houses on Upper Road with another 5 on Union Road leading to Stowmarket. The Church of St John The Baptist sat in the fields midway between Lower and Upper Road. By the 1970’s housing development had begun but there are still people in the village who remember streams and ditches where houses and roads now stand. With the major build of 150 houses in the 70’s Upper Road became Forest Road and the Northfield Estate came into being.
The road from Stowmarket to Harleston and beyond was a single width cart track with passing places. At the end of Lower Road next to the Shepherd and Dog pub was the animal pound. Union Road gets its name from the ‘Stow Union‘ or workhouse which was just within the boundary from Stowmarket. This has now been converted into flats after a long spell as a hospital and geriatric unit. Nearby is the Paupers’ Graves, now a conservation area owned and maintained by the parish council.
Onehouse was part of the Pettiward Estate which extended beyond the ‘Northfield Wood‘. There are 5 farms in the Parish. Reed at the west end of Lower Road, Hall halfway along, Starhouse at the end of Union Road, Chilton Leys at one end of Forest Road, Glebe at the other end. None of these are working farms now with the exception of Hall. The others contract out the land or are now mini industrial units. There are three major buildings – Onehouse Hall; The Lodge in Forest Road and the Grange in Woodland Close. Onehouse Hall is partly moated, and belonged in the reign of Edward III to one of the knights who attended on the Black Prince at the battle of Crecy, this is now converted with its outbuildings to a number of houses. The Grange also has a long history and includes a brewhouse in its deeds. On Lower Road a new house has risen from the ashes of a previous maltings cottage. On Finborough Road the former ‘Halfway House’ has assumed a new name also.
The church room was originally the school until replaced by a brick building in the early 1890s. This building in turn closed in the 1970s and eventually became the community center for Onehouse and the parishes of Harleston and Shelland.
With thanks to Ron Cruickshanks.