Bernard and Heather Quinlan moved to Weavers in Chelsworth in the late 1980’s, and their interest in the history of the village quickly became evident.

Over the next 20 years, Bernard compiled an enormous body of research about the village, its dwellings, and its people.  It embraced work on the Manor Court Rolls, the regular censuses, rent rolls, tithe maps, photographs, and a host of other documents.  Foremost amongst these is the Village Survey, carried out in 1870.

Bernard wove all of his research into commentaries and summaries, and into ‘walks’ in which he and Heather explore many aspects of life in Chelsworth in the middle of the 19th Century. As well as editing a new edition of Geoffrey Pocklington's book “Chelsworth - The story of a Little Suffolk Village”, now out-of-print but owned by many villagers, they jointly wrote “Chelsworth- an illustrated social history”, which was never published but is included on this site in its entirety.

Bernard died in 2008 and Heather in 2014.  As well as their research and writing, they also left huge amounts of information for us to analyse, such as the summaries of 107 wills drawn between 1441 and 1901.

The village of Chelsworth will always be indebted to them for making sure that this rich store continues to be available to all.

The Quinlan archives form the heart of our History section:

  • The Introduction
  • The 1870 Survey – including a commentary, and links to dwellings
  • and family trees
  • Chelsworth- an illustrated social history”,
  • Chelsworth People
  • Chelsworth Houses, together with Chelsworth’s Lost Houses
  • Chelsworth Views
  • Lords of the Manor
  • A Village Stroll

In the Archives section you will also find a wealth of ‘Quinlan’ information, for instance on the “Sparrow and Rat Club”, that we will continue to analyse and make available to all.