Elmsett, (population circa 800) is set in the heart of rolling farmland, 8 miles NW of Ipswich and 4 miles NE of Hadleigh with C12 St Peter's Church on a hill looking down over the valley, a scene which has changed little since Thomas Gainsborough painted it in 1750.
Elmsett was first recorded in 995 as Ylmesaeton (Ylme - Elm, Saeten - dwellers). Sadly very few elms now exist, due to Dutch Elm Disease which in the late 1960s and 1970s destroyed all but a very few ‘treated' trees. One ancient wood still remains in the village, namely the 22 acre Park Wood, a SSSI (site of special scientific interest).
At one time there were about 16 farms in the village, which, together with the Elmsett Mill, owned by the Ladbrook family since 1848, employed most of the village, and in the first part of the 20th Century Elmsett was fairly self-supporting.
Today there are few, but larger farms and the Mill has gone, replaced by a development of houses, and the majority of village inhabitants commute to Hadleigh, Ipswich, Colchester or London.
Opposite St Peter's Church is the Tithe memorial, a rare and defiant memorial commemorating the seizure of goods at Elmsett Hall in May 1932 when Mr Charles Westren who farmed at Elmsett Hall refused to pay his tithe (or tax) to the Church and household goods and corn-stacks were impounded, making national news.
Elmsett boasts an attractive village green with a village sign and a large chestnut tree where once the village smithy had his forge.
More information on the history and people of Elmsett may be found by reading the Book of Elmsett from Sickle to Satellite written by the Elmsett Local History Group and published in November 2006 by Halsgrove priced at £19.95.
Copies of the book may also be available from the Elmsett Post Office and Village Stores 01473 658210