The following SIAH book publications are in print

Copies of the first five books (Great Bricett, Keeping the peace, Hitcham, Place-names, Dovecotes) may be bought by clicking on the donate button below (use the ‘Donate with a Card’ option if you do not have a PayPal account).  Please include:

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thumbnail Bricett book coverGREAT BRICETT MANOR AND PRIORY. Lords, Saints and Canons in a Suffolk Landscape, by Edward Martin. Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History  2021, ISBN 978-1-8381223-2-4. A4 paperback, 160 pages, many colour pictures. £13.50 plus £3.60 post & packing; a limited-edition hardback is also available at £30, plus £3.60 post & packing.

Great Bricett may be one of the lesser-known places in Suffolk, but it has a fascinating history. Its medieval priory, founded in the early 12th century, was one of the earliest Augustinian priories to be established in England and is the only one to be a daughter-house of the collegiate church of Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, near Limoges in France. This was the centre of the cult of St Leonard, the patron saint of prisoners, and the priory at Bricett was dedicated to him. The priory church became the parish church, and the other surviving remains of the priory are contained within Great Bricett Hall, an unusual timber-framed wing on the north side of the church. This was thought, stylistically, to date from the 13th century, but has now been dendro-dated to the 1320s. These remains are not a standard claustral layout, instead, they more closely resemble a manor house. Near the church is an additional challenge to interpretation, an earthwork resembling a flattened motte-and-bailey castle, perhaps to be interpreted as a semi-fortified ‘forcelet’. This earthwork probably contained the residence of the priory’s founder, Ralph fitz Brien, and the book details the closely intertwined histories of the manor and priory down to the present day.

Keeping the peace in medieval Suffolk by Nicholas R. Amor, foreword by Mark Bailey ISBN 9781838122300, pub March 2021, members price £10.00 (plus £3.60 p&p).

The Middle Ages have been dismissed by many historians as a lawless period in which rival gangs of retainers terrorized the countryside. This volume reaches a rather different conclusion. Following careful study of the county’s fourteenth-century archives, the author contends that the fear of crime was greater than the reality. In Part 1 he analyses real levels of crime and, in particular, of homicide. In Part 2 he traces the rise of the early justices of the peace who were appointed to maintain law and order, explains the responsibilities that they were given, and sketches the lives of the more prominent among them and of the jurors who served with them. An alliance was forged between gentry and village elite that became a powerful force in shaping Suffolk society. The volume sets these developments against a turbulent background of the Great Famine, the Hundred Years War, the Black Death, and the Peasants’ Revolt.


Hitcham: a landscape, social and ecclesiastical history of a Suffolk clayland parish, by Edward Martin. ISBN 978-1-8381223-1-7. Members £6.50 (plus £3.60p&p). Published as a contribution towards the National Lottery Heritage Fund Project for the restoration of the bells in Hitcham church, this richly-illustrated, 146-page, book not only gives an account of those bells and the Tudor bellframe in which they were set (dendro-dated for this project), but also describes the architecture and fittings of the church and gives the histories of its rectors (notable amongst whom are a medieval cardinal and the Revd Professor J. S. Henslow, the man who both tutored and inspired Darwin). Another major theme of the book is the histories of the manors and dispersed farmsteads of this large central-Suffolk parish, including the detailed survey of the manor of Hitcham contained in the Ely Coucher Book of 1249-50. Analysis of this survey has enabled many features of the medieval landscape to be identified and understood, and has also shown how many of the names of the manor’s tenants were adopted as ‘tenement names’ for the farmsteads in later manorial records.


A dictionary of Suffolk place-names by Keith Briggs and Kelly Kilpatrick (in association with the English Place-Name   Society) ISBN 9780904889918, 2016, £14 (plus £3.60 p&p).

A one-year collaborative research project between the SIAH and the Institute of Name Studies, University of Nottingham, has resulted in this in-depth study of the major place-names of Suffolk. An introductory section outlines the history of place-names and their development in Suffolk, followed by the dictionary of places, a reference work that is straightforward to use, and enhanced by occasional illustrations. It concludes with a list of place-name elements, and personal names from Old and Middle English, and Scandinavian are also listed.

Please see errata and other information at .


The dovecotes of Suffolk by John McCann, ISBN 0952139014, 1998, members £7.00, (others £8.50) plus £3.60 p&p.

This is the first study of Suffolk’s historic dovecotes, which were both functional buildings and architectural expressions of social status. As they were built in the fashionable style of their time, they illustrate the history of architecture in microcosm, from the 14th to the 19th centuries. This study relates the features found to contemporary descriptions of working practice. The book is richly illustrated with photographs and diagrams.





The following two titles can only be obtained from Joanne Sear, Proceedings Editor, to whom enquiries should be sent:   (Please replace AT with @ in the email addresses).

Building the late medieval Suffolk church by Simon Cotton, ISBN 9780952139089, 2019.

This book looks at the documentary evidence for the building of late medieval Suffolk churches. It is based on bequests in the wills of local inhabitants c.1370-1510 and includes data from churchwardens’ accounts amongst other sources. A prelude to the gazetteer, with colour illustrations, outlines the parameters of the study and the result is a fascinating and extremely useful reference volume.

£10 (plus £3.60 p&p)




Suffolk Church Chests by David Sherlock. £15 + £3.60 p&p. (Published 2008, a few copies only remaining.)

Church chests are almost the only remaining moveable class of objects still to be found in English parish churches. In Suffolk many churches still have a medieval chest or chests, which in spite of age or occasional neglect are magnificent objects which are worth studying for their carpentry, ironwork, locking mechanisms, design and style. They have not received the study they deserve and this book aims to rectify this situation.


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Titles no longer in print


Deer parks of Suffolk 1086-1602 by Rosemary Hoppitt, foreword by Tom Williamson. ISBN 9780952139096 (2020).

Deer parks were prominent features in the Suffolk landscape from the medieval period onward. They occupied hundreds of acres of enclosed woodland and pasture but were also symbolic features signalling the status, power and control of their owners in both the landscape and in society. This study of parks opens a window onto the past, partly by re-imagining past landscapes, and partly by observing people. At one end of the social spectrum we can see park-keepers dealing with their yearly round of maintenance and management; we discover local poachers bent on taking venison and politically driven gangs inflicting damage on property with intent. At the other end, we catch glimpses of the aristocracy and religiosi enclosing land, indulging in hunting, entertaining friends, dispensing largesse and feasting on venison. Overall the subject is wide-ranging, drawing on evidence from the landscape and from a rich archive of documentary sources. The book provides a valuable resource for both enthusiasts and academics to take the study even further.  For more information please see


Business of the Suffolk parish 1558-1625 by David Dymond, 9780952139072, 2018

Monastic sign language by David Sherlock, ISBN 9780952139065, 2016

Suffolk church chests by David Sherlock, ISBN 9780952139058, 2008

Decoding flint flushwork on Suffolk and Norfolk churches by John Blatchly and Peter Northeast, ISBN 0952139049, 2005

Master Mason Hawes of Occold and John Hore master carpenter of Diss, by Birkin Haward, ISBN 0952139030, 2000

Suffolk medieval church roof carvings by Birkin Haward, ISBN 0952139022, 1999

Suffolk medieval church arcades by Birkin Haward, ISBN 9780952139003, 1993

The Household Book of Dame Alice de Bryene, translated by M.K. Dale, Ipswich 1931, revised edition by J. M. Ridgard, Bungay 1984.

The Corbould Genealogy, by George C. B. Poulter, Ipswich 1935.