Polstead is a picturesque village across the river Box from Stoke by Nayland at the point where the south Suffolk plateau breaks up into a number of small valleys. The village, which featured in the Domesday Book, derives its name from the ponds
which lie at the bottom of a steep hill leading up to the village green on one side with St Mary's church and Polstead Hall on the other side.
The village, which is one of the largest parishes in Suffolk, with a total population of about 820, consists mainly of five separate hamlets grouped around first, Mill Street (leading from Stoke by Nayland), Polstead Hill and the Green,
Polstead Heath, the site of a 19th century orchard and famous for its cherries;
thirdly, Hadleigh Heath, at the northern end of the parish; fourthly, Bower House Tye, beside the A1071;
Whitestreet Green, to the west.
The church, on a beautiful site overlooking the Box valley, is an exceptionally interesting Grade 1 listed medieval building with unique Romanesque brick arches, wall paintings and many other features. It is open to visitors every day from 9am until dusk. There is a toilet available in a separate shed beside the south entrance.
On the Green there is a modern Village Hall with excellent facilities, a Community Shop and Post Office, and the pub, which caters for walkers and others. At Bower House Tye there is a public house, which also does meals and a caravan touring park.
Contact Details for the pubs and attractions mentioned above, and all the businesses in the Parish are in the Polstead Business Directory
A Polstead guidebook is available in the Church and at the Community Shop - which also sells a booklet about the Red Barn murder case for which Polstead was well-known in the 19th century.
The Parish of Polstead
The "The LSPN Community News for Leavenheath, Stoke-by-Nayland, Polstead and Nayland" is published monthly and delivered free to every home in the Polstead, Nayland, Leavenheath & Stoke By Nayland areas. Copies are also available at the Community Shop.