According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names the origin of Elmswell (or in it’s Old English form Elmswella) as referred to in the Doomsday book of 1086 comes from ‘Spring or Stream where elm-trees grow’. The old English elm+wella.
The history of the village can be traced as far back as the Roman times based on reports of various artefacts uncovered in quite recent finds. There is evidence of Roman activity in this area linked to the site of a pottery kiln dated around the third century.
956 The young King Eadwig gave presents of various parts of his land to gain favour with the “opinion formers of the day”. One gift was the estate of Elmswell that became the property of the monastery at Bury St Edmunds.
1086 Village recorded in the Doomsday Book instigated by William The Conquerer. The village still belongs to the monastery of St. Edmunds lead by Abbot Baldwin who would probably have assumed the title of Lord of the Manor
1433 King Henry VI and courtiers have an extended stay in Elmswell to go fishing, hunting and hawking.
1590 Sir Robert Gardener bought Elmswell Manor and Hall from the Darcy family.
1614 Almshouses set up in Village by Gardener.
1791 A number of deaths recorded in the village due to an outbreak of smallpox.
1844 Elmswell to Woolpit railway line was built.
1846 Ipswich to Bury passenger railway line opens via Elmswell.
1884 First School in Elmswell.
1890 Elmswell Board School was built to hold 170 pupils.
1911 St Edmundsbury Cooperative Bacon Factory built.
1946 Village Memorial Hall built by villagers to remember those brave villagers lost fighting for their Country during the two World Wars.
1986 New school built, swimming pool built by the school PTA
1995 New Village sign erected depicting past history of the village
1998 Blackbourne Centre opened by Lord Henneker
2002 Memorial Hall demolished
2002 Memorial Library opened on land close to the Memorial Hall