Butley Street

There was a time when Butley in Suffolk was filled with ancestors and relatives of mine. Not that they’d have known this, for I’m going back to the mid 19th century – 100 years or more before I was born.

Butley was hit badly by agricultural depression and people moved away. Great Granny, born 1850, joined two of her sisters at Isfield in Sussex. Some of her brothers moved north up to the Newcastle area to work as miners. Others found they could still make a living in agriculture in Essex. But pretty well the tribe of my ancestors and relatives left the area. By the twentieth century just one of great granny’s sisters was still in the Butley area.

I have no family postcards of Butley but I have bought some to add to my collection in genealogy. This one shows Butley Street.


The marking of a house with an X was done by the card sender – nothing to do with me, but I think Miles Crosby who was a first cousin of my great great grandfather lived there. The house is called Forge Cottage and Miles was a village blacksmith.

I have a picture of the same cottage which I took in 2004.


Censuses only tell us people lived in Butley, but I am sure relatives lived in the terrace of little cottages. I have my photo of them as well.


It’s a delightful, if somewhat scattered village but I bet life was hard for those ancestors.


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2 Responses to “Butley Street”

  1. Patrick Podd Says:

    I lived in Forge Cottage in the 1990s and put the nameplate on the wall outside the front door and the Wisteria!. Its owned by the Greenwells who farm in Boyton (Major James (ex SAS) and Serena, and rented out to tenants. A very happy place to live with lots of good memories!

    • locksands Says:

      Splendid. I’m afraid my knowledge is more Victorian but lovely to hear of a happy resident.

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