Culpho
Suffolk


Culpho is a tiny parish of scattered farms and cottages set amidst the gently undulating fields of Suffolk some five miles northeast of the County Town of Ipswich. The name of the village is pronounced Cull-Foe and is thought to derive from the Old English word 'Hoh' (meaning spur of land) together with the Saxon Name 'Cupwolf' - thus 'Spur of land of a man named Cupwolf'. The Parish has never had a large population with census figures of seventy-three people in 1732, fifty-one in 1874 and 71 in 1901.


Photo:  Rod Morris

The land is largely arable with wheat, barley, sugar and a great deal of oil seed rape making the spring fields a dazzlingly bright yellow. Many of the pastel coloured farms and cottages have the very characteristic East Anglian high pitched roofs, either thatched or tiled and seem to have been lifted from the pages of a Victorian children's picture book.


Photo:  Rod Morris

It is not certain when the church in Culpho was built but it was in existence in 1086 and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Local legend has it that there is a secret tunnel constructed in medieval times by the monks of nearby Leiston Abbey (the present day site of Abbey Farm) linking their place of work with their place of worship. The Parish Church is dedicated to St.Botolph who is the patron saint of travellers and is thought to have made a missionary journey to East Anglia as the churches in Culpho and nearby Burgh bear his name.


Photo:  Rod Morris

In more modern times the church was surveyed in 2003 and the parishioners were devastated to learn that essential repair and maintenance work was needed costing over £60,000. The 40 or so residents set about the task of fund raising and quickly raised all the money needed, an incredible achievement for such a small number of people.

On the east wall of St Botolph's is the village's memorial to the Great War composed of glass tiles by Powell of London and dedicated in 1920.


Photo:  Rod Morris

It is not known how many service personnel this small village sent forth to fight in the Great War but it is recorded that they all returned after the cessation of hostilities in late 1918 making Culpho one of only two Suffolk 'Thankful Villages'. Today's residents remain justifiably proud of their forebears and there is little doubt that were those old Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen around today to see their Parish Church, they would be very proud of what has been achieved by those who followed. Culpho has a great deal to be thankful for.

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