The Thurlows

Village News & Information

In conclusion

This gentle exploration of the history of theThurlows reveals much more than perhaps one had realised about these small villages. They have a sense of permanence, with links back to the time of the Romans. We can trace their history from Domesday to reveal self-sufficient village communities that remained largely intact until the middle of this century. The post-war era has seen the greatest period of change as the numbers
of people employed on the land has dwindled, and many of the tradespeople have vanished along with their premises. The introduction of the tractor and the car meant a drop in the numbers of employees required to implement the new farming methods and enabled villagers to seek work further afield. The farms, the old schools, the independent church and the almshouses are now private homes, inhabited either by people who
once worked on the land or by those who work elsewhere, with the exception of the estate workers, grooms and domestic staff who work for the Vesteys. Some replacement houses have been built but the village is not so active now.

Paradoxically, in spite of these changes, both new and established villagers speak of the sense of community that still exists here. The 'busy-ness' has been replaced by the unwelcome increase of traffic, as people speed their way elsewhere to work. No longer are the villages virtually self-sufficient, with the nearest shop and surviving garage in
Great Thurlow, and only one pub left in Little Thurlow.

However, the sense of community is still evident. The Golden Jubilee celebrations in June 2002 brought villagers out in their droves to enjoy a party at Little Thurlow Hall
where young and old enjoyed a night to remember!


Kate Atherton 15 January 2003