Stoke-by-Clare is a small village and civil parish in Suffolk located in the valley of the River Stour, about two miles west of Clare.[2]

St John the Baptist - - 926463.jpg
St. John the Baptist church, Stoke by Clare
Stoke-by-Clare is located in Suffolk
Location within Suffolk
Population512 (2001 Census)[1]
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSudbury
Postcode districtCO10
Dialling code01787
UK Parliament
List of places
52°03′47″N 0°32′17″E / 52.063°N 0.538°E / 52.063; 0.538Coordinates: 52°03′47″N 0°32′17″E / 52.063°N 0.538°E / 52.063; 0.538

In 1124 Richard de Clare, 1st Earl of Hertford moved the Benedictine Priory that had been established at his castle in Clare to Stoke-by-Clare. The Priory, which was controlled by the monastery of Bec in Normandy, enjoyed by 1291 rents from 17 parishes in Suffolk. During the Hundred Years' War the Prior's revenues were in part diverted to the English crown and in 1415 the Priory was replaced by Stoke College, intended to support a small community of priests and choristers under the patronage of Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March.,[3] who was also buried here.

At the time of the English Reformation, the Dean of the College was Matthew Parker. Under his authority the College became a centre of the 'New Learning' and reforms brought him into conflict with the Priory at Clare. The college was suppressed in 1548 and the estate was purchased by John Cheke and Walter Mildmay. The reputed miser Sir Hervey Elwes lived here in the 18th century and was succeeded by his nephew John Elwes (politician) in 1763.[4] Major-General Edward Loch, 2nd Baron Loch CB CMG MVO DSO, a senior British Army officer, is buried in the churchyard of St John the Baptist and there is memorial to him within the church.

Today Stoke-by-Clare has a population of 460. Its church, St John the Baptist, houses Matthew Parker's pulpit. There are also several unique wall paintings one of which is said to date to the reign of Mary I.

Stoke College is now an independent school for 5-18 year olds. The village formerly had a railway station on the Stour Valley Railway.


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  2. ^ Kelly, E. R., ed. (1875). "STOKE-by-CLARE". The Post Office Directory of Cambridge, Norfolk and Suffolk. London: Kelly & Co. p. 917.
  3. ^ 'Alien houses: Priory of Stoke by Clare', A History of the County of Suffolk: Volume 2 (1975), pp. 154-155. URL: Date accessed: 26 July 2009.
  4. ^ 'Colleges: Stoke by Clare', A History of the County of Suffolk: Volume 2 (1975), pp. 145-150. URL: Date accessed: 26 July 2009.

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