Sproughton is a rural parish of about 550 houses, in the Gipping valley three miles west of Ipswich. The mediaeval heart of the village contains the 13th century Church, 17th century Tithe Barn, 18th century water mill and several timber-framed listed buildings. Despite being urban-peripheral, Sproughton has twice won the annual Suffolk Wildlife Awards associated with Village of the Year competitions. A major contribution to this has been our Millennium Green project, which included the planting of a thousand trees and the creation of wild flower and reptile areas. The churchyard is a County Listed Wildlife Site.
Sproughton is not specifically mentioned in the Doomsday book. However, mesolithic flint workings on the banks of the river Gipping are evidence of some sort of early settlement. Sproughton High Street was once the Roman road Iter IX.
Today, Sproughton is on the move. There are several sports and social clubs in the village. Since 2006 the Parish Council has obtained a total of £250,000 in grants from the Lottery, East of England Development Agency, Suffolk County Council, etc., to upgrade the Tithe Barn as a community resource. This enabled a redundant storeroom to be converted into a meeting room and kitchen and the former tractor garage transformed into community shop premises. The main barn has been insulated and has become a popular venue for weddings and other events. The modern meeting room, also for hire, has enabled us to run Senior Citizens lunches and computer courses.
Sproughton has a village shop – see:
The shop is run by volunteers who kindly donate their time and is managed by Mrs Rosalind Lavington. In order to set up the shop a Community Interest Company was formed, grants obtained and volunteers recruited and the new shop, adjacent to the Tithe Barn in Lower Street, opened at the end of March 2010. Besides saving on car journeys and promoting low-mileage food, we hope that the new village shop will be a friendly place for a chat and an information point for Green activities.
In 2007 Sproughton signed the Nottingham Agreement on Climate Change and we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint. The Parish Council’s Green Panel has carried out a number of household surveys, has held awareness events and administered a light bulb library that allows people to try out different kinds of energy-saving bulbs.