History

Built in 1640 by Sir Thomas Chicheley

Built in 1640 by Sir Thomas Chicheley

Why Wympole & Wratsworth?

Wratsworth was mentioned along with Wympole in the Doomsday book but it was Wratsworth that was the bigger village at that time. However by the 15th century the parish had been absorbed into Orwell and Wimpole parishes. Wratsworth has been long forgotten and is a lost village. Few records exist but on a map made by a Benjamin Hare 1638  a wood called Cobbs wood (which still exists today) also had a portion of it called Ratford.

Both these medieval villages and most of the other local medieval villages developed next to the local chalk springs. After the decline of Wratsworth all that was left of this once larger village was Cobbs wood farm, Wympole on the other hand grew larger and had a stone church built. It became a poly focal village and lasted until the start of the engrossment and enclosure of the parish in the 16th-17th centuries. In the early 17th century before the parish was fully enclosed the centre of the Hall was built by Thomas Chicheley. The parish was completely enclosed by the 1700. It is after this time that the name of Wympole changed to Wimple and the estate grew later and larger. Under the Hardwickes Wimple prospered that is until the 5th earl would lost the estate to a rather indulgent life style, by this time Wimple had changed to Wimpole. Benign neglect in the early and mid 20th century left the estate a little rough, hardly surprising after two great wars. In 1976 Elsie Bambridge gave the 2500 acre estate to the National Trust for safe keeping.

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