The villages of Brome and Oakley (click here for the village website) go back at least to Saxon times. St Mary’s Church is an ancient building; part of it predates the Norman Conquest and it is possible that a timber church stood here in the 8th century, although at first sight it seems largely Victorian. The lower section of the tower is Saxon – one of the 43 round towers still remaining in Suffolk.
The Church of St Nicholas, Oakley (Magna) is possibly on an 8th century site and certainly Norman. There was also St Andrew’s Oakley (Parva), demolished in 1440, which could have been even older. In the 14th century, Robert Bucton, Lord of the Manor, built the 60 foot tower.
The parishes were united by the Bishop of Norwich in 1751, but both churches were retained and have remained in use. There is an active friends organisation, which raises money for the fabric account.
Brome and Oakley are both ribbon developments and this sometimes makes it difficult to generate a unity of purpose. They are located mid-distance between Eye in Suffolk and Diss in Norfolk, each about three miles away. They are friendly places and the established residents easily accept strangers. Several families have lived in the area for generations, and many are related.
The village hall is located on Brome Street, which was the old village school serving both villages. There is a well-attended social club that meets every Friday evening. The village hall provides lunches each month with a varied menu, and usually seasonal locally sourced food. The Sunday Club meets there on the first Sunday of each month for children over 3 years of age. About 7 children and parents attend. The hall is also the location for Parish Council meetings and many social events throughout the year.
The area is almost exclusively agricultural, with some commuters, but there is a medium-sized industrial estate at Brome on the site of one of many WWII airfields built in East Anglia by the American air force.
Our churches are open during daylight hours. Here you can find our regular pattern of worship.
And here is where you can find us: