© 2017 John Lucas

From heritage.suffolk.gov.uk:

Unlocated Westley sub-manors of Leo's/Luce's Hall (from 1148), Westley otherwise Pembroke al Dunham Hall (from 1086, with pigeon house listed in 1324) and Fresels (from 1286).

From Westley Village history:

In times past there were three manors.  Sextons Manor is now part of Bury St Edmunds and is close to the town’s barracks.  Pembroke (or Dunham Hall) has been lost but is thought to have stood just south of Old Church Lane near what is now Parson's Barn and Luce’s (or Leo’s) Hall was situated where Westley Hall now stands.

Thomas (Houchon)  b. 1460  in the  area Saxham  d. 1531 was given Dunham Hall (also known as Pembroke Hall) by Jasper Tudor, uncle to Henry VII, Duke of Bedford (aka Earl of Pembroke) about 1490.

Edmond Lucas  B. 1160 about. In 1180 held land from Abbey of  St Edmund at Westley, Suffolk

Current thoughts are that Luce’s Hall referred to in the Westley Village history above was originally Lucas Hall. It is plain to see that there is only one letter difference; records can easily be mis-transcribed of the period of nearly 900 year. Up until fairly recently there was no standard spelling of even basic everyday words. We do know that ‘Lucas’ already held a hall at Westley prior to being gifted Pembroke Hall be his friend Jasper Tudor.

Little remains of the original Church, which can be found in a small enclosure at the end of Old Church Lane covered in nettles.

The current church has a plain exterior being constructed on concrete. The Church was locked when I visited.



OS grid reference TL823646

Domesday Book Entry:

Westlea: Abbot of St. Edmund's and Peter from him; Richard FitzGilbert. 2 churches, two-thirds of a mill.


Back in Domesday Westley would appear as being mainly agricultural, although it did have 100 sheep. Over the years wool became the single most product of Suffolk. The Lucas family must have benefited greatly from the huge profits being made. However the wool trade had it’s downs as well as it’s up times. Wars on the continant were one of the main factors in the fortunes of the trade; sometimes exports were encouraged, at other times they were forbidden.