by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Behold within the leafy shade
Those bright blue eggs together laid!
On me the chance-discovered sight
Gleamed like a vision of delight.
I started –– seeming to espy
The home and sheltered bed,
The Sparrow’s dwelling, which, hard by
My Father’s house, in wet or dry
My sister Emmeline and I
Together visited.

She looked at it and seemed to fear it;
Dreading, tho’ wishing, to be near it;
Such heard was in her, being then
A little Prattler among men.
The Blessing of my later year
Was with me when a boy;
She gave me eyes, she gave me ears;
And humble care, and delicate fears;
A heart, and thought, and joy.

MapNorthIpswichThis map of North Ipswich of 1805 shows the area of Thurleston with ‘Sparrow Farm’, which was the old
reduced Sparrowe’s Nest which included the current Sparrowe’s Farm, the property of the Burton Phillipson family. Sparrowe’s Nest, with ancillary farm buildings, was a working farmhouse up until about 1869, when it was separated off and sold with 13 acres and from then on was just a private house with the bailiff’s house being renamed Sparrowe’s Nest Farm. ‘Deal’ Farm is actually Dale Hall Farm, Red House was the home of the Edgar family and Fonnereau Park [Withipol House], is Christchurch Park, the home of the Fonnereau family.

Most of the parish of Whitton cum Thurleston is now included in the liberties of Ipswich and were under the jurisdiction of the King and the Sheriff of Ipswich but at the time of Domesday there were four hamlets outside the town but were considered to be in the half-hundred of Ipswich, Stoke, Thurleston, Wickes Ufford and Wickes Bishop.

In 1352/3 ‘John Cobbet and Henry Rotton, Bayliffs of the said towne of Ipswich, with their Burgesses, did ride the circuit under written, including the fower Hamlets of the said towne, that is to say: Stoke, with all the appurtenances; Brooks Hall, with the churche of St. Buttolf’s in Whitton; Wicks Ufford & Wicks Bp; with all their appurtenances.’ (Bacon’s Annals of Ipswich)

The circuit of their Whitton perambulations is recorded thus “And in the lane that goeth from Ipswich to the high way to Bramford, and from that high way to Witman How, and from Witman How on a faire mere unto Lovetoft Hall, and have in all Leyhams Closes, and in a little lane to the Cross in Whitton in Whitton streete, and in a lane to Whitton Church that is holden of St. Buttolfs, and from the Churche on a faire mere unto old John Omersons of Thurlston, and in a little lane that goeth to Westerfield wood, and into Westerfield Wood, and a faire way that goeth to the Crosse that stand by the high way that goeth from Ipswich unto Tuddenham, and from the Crosse on a faire greene way, and in the same way to Rushmere.”