History of the village

Metfield the name is derived from Medefeld or ‘Meadow feld’. Metfield the place is amid fields, close to the Waveney valley, and the Norfolk Suffolk border, inbetween the market towns of Harleston and Halesworth.

The population was estimated to be 370 in 2010.

We have a church, a pub, a village hall AND we still have a village shop – Metfield Stores – run by the community for the community.

At the time of the 1841 census, when the populations of most rural East Anglian parishes were beginning to reach their peak, the village had more than 700 residents, and could boast a surgeon, a schoolmaster, a tailor, a bricklayer, an inn and two beerhouses, three shoemakers, two butchers and three grocers. White’s 1844 directory notes that Mrs Susan Godbold has resided in the parish for 80 years, and walked round the village on her 104th birthday, Sept 14th 1843. A century later, Arthur Mee found her gravestone while poking around in the churchyard, and noted that she had died at the remarkable age of 105. (Information from http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk)

During World War II an airfield was built just outside Metfield for use by the USAAF 491st Bomb Group and the 353rd Fighter Group. On 15 July 1944 the bomb dump blew up, detonating over 1,000 tons of bombs and explosive, killing five men and wrecking five B-24 bombers.

In 1870–72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Metfield like this:

METFIELD, a village and a parish in Hoxne district, Suffolk. The village stands 2¼ miles SE of the river Waveney, at the boundary with Suffolk, and 4½ NE by E of Harleston r. station; and has a post office under Harleston. The parish comprises 2,162 acres. Real property, £3,762. Pop., 663. Houses, 141. The property is divided among a few. The manor, with Metfield Hall, belongs to Mrs. Rayley. The living is a donative in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £80.* Patrons, the Parishioners. The church is old but good: and consists of nave and chancel with a tower. There are a Primitive Methodist chapel, an endowed national school with £26 a year, and some small charities.