Village Signs Art

Uniquely English and more common in East Anglia than elsewhere, village signs are not to be confused with the signs which mark the borders of a settlement along the main roads entering the settlement. Village signs are often found in the geographical or community centre of the settlement often besides a church, on a communal green or near a community hall. They are often richly decorated and evocative of the village’s distinct history, trades and industry or in some cases legends or myths.

Shimpling, from Old English (OE) spelled as Simplinga in 1089 Domesday Book meaning the settlement (ingas) of Scimpel’s people.

The village sign shows the parish church of St. George together with a depiction of the now ruined smock windmill.

Stanningfield in west Suffolk is just off the A143 Bury St.Edmunds to Sudbury road.

Its name is thought to derive from “stony ground”.

The sign shows the parish church St.Nicolas (French spelling).

Lower left depicts a scene from the uncovering of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Local landowners the Rookwoods were Catholics and Ambrose Rookwood was the eldest son of Robert Rookwood by his second wife Dorothea. He was implicated in the Gunpowder Plot and was hanged on the morning of 31 January 1606, Old Palace Yard, Westminster in London.

Lower right shows coat of arms of the Rookwood family.