Hessett is a small village and civil parish in Suffolk about seven miles east of Bury St Edmunds and a mile or two south of the A14. There has been a village on this site for over 1,000 years, with the earliest mention being in 1005 AD, which was when Ulfketel gave the villages of Hessett, Beyton and Rougham to the Abbey in Bury St Edmunds.
Hessett Parish Council has been in existence since civil parish councils were first formed in1894. Parish Councils sit at the most direct level of democracy in England and Wales, being the first tier of local government and seek to improve community wellbeing and provide better services at a local level. Activities fall into three main categories: representing the local community; delivering services to meet local needs; and striving to improve quality of life and community wellbeing.
The Council serves, and makes decisions on behalf of, the village and aims to keep everyone informed about important issues and on-going projects. There are seven councillors - they are committed to the wellbeing of Hessett and give their time, effort and resources without financial reward.
Councillors are members of the community, elected by the community. Elections take place every four years and the last ones were on the 2nd May 2019. Seven candidates stood and were elected uncontested.
All notices from the Parish Council are displayed on the Village Notice Board and on this website, including notices of elections, dates of meetings; agendas; minutes and financial information.
Over the years the population has waxed and waned. In 1801 the population was recorded as 323; by 1851 that had increased to 487 but the decline in agricultural employment in the first half of the 20th century caused the population to fall to 285 by 1951, before gradually increasing to the current number of about 500.
In medieval times the Bacon family were the Lords of the manor and lived at Hessett Hall, a moated site north of Heath Road. In the 17th century the Bacon family were succeeded by the LeHeups but Hessett Hall burnt down in the mid 18th century and was not rebuilt. The centre of the village is still the village green, bisected by the main lane through the village which runs north to south. The village grew up, and is still largely based, along that lane.
In the north of the village is the parish church of St Ethelbert with a small village hall next door and the Five Bells Inn opposite (closed for several years but currently under restoration). The name of the pub reflects the number of bells in the church and both the pub and church are C14 buildings. The church, is especially fine, even for a Suffolk village.
Housing in the village is mixed with a smattering of listed buildings and an abundance of attractive C17, C18 and early C19 cottages and houses. In the 1950s many thatched cottages were demolished and there are a number of small pockets of more modern development, as well as few modern, individual, in-fill houses.
More information about the history of the village can be found here.