Troston is a village in the county of Suffolk, about five miles north-north-east of Bury St Edmunds.
The centre of the village, surrounded by farms, is characterised by housing built through the 1950s to 1970s, with minor, more localised, expansion since. The village shop, formerly a Wesleyan Chapel, has been closed for some time. It became a private residence. It was subsequently completely rebuilt , while maintaining some of the character and materials of the original.
It is Troston’s historic buildings that catch visitors’ attention. Details of these are contained in a local history book compiled by Troston resident Janet Barnard prior to her death in 1995.
The village hall building was originally a school house, built in 1871 from Troston brick, and became a church hall in 1946, taking the place of the reading room as the social centre of the village. (now Grade II Listed)
St Mary’s is a Grade I listed church, containing medieval wall paintings conserved by an expert in 2009. They show St George and the Dragon, St Christopher and the martyrdom of St Edmund, as well as other interesting features including a fragment of a Doom above the chancel arch, historic graffiti and its pulpit and rood screen.
Troston has one Public House called The Bull. The Bull, which by the early 1800s had been converted from a farm to an inn.
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Troston like this:
TROSTON, a parish, with a village, in Thingoe district, Suffolk; 5 ½ miles NNE of Bury-St. Edmunds r. station. Post town, Ixworth, under Bury-St. Edmunds. Acres, 1,764. Real property, £2,299. Pop., 322. Houses, 85. T. Hall belongs to H.L. Moseley, Esq.; and was the birthplace of Capel, the editor of Shakespeare. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely. Value, £332.* Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is tolerable.
Early Anglo Saxon pagan burial grounds (450-500AD) have been found in the valley of the River Blackbourne and it is possible that the people who first settled Troston came that way.
Place names often give clues to origins.
Professor Ekwall, in his book Oxford History of Place Names gives Troston as an Anglo Saxon settlement, as were most surrounding villages.
An old will of 989 AD shows that the early name was Trostingtun, 'tun' being the Anglo Saxon word for farmstead or settlement. 'Ing' from 'inga' meaning 'of the people' , and 'Trost' (or Trosta) the name of the headman. Thus Trostingtun becomes 'the settlement of the people of Trost(a)'
Some historians think that places ending with 'ing' in the name denotes early Anglo Saxon occupation. If this is so, Troston could have been established as early as 500AD.
W Skeat, however, gives Troston as Throstingtun - with Throstr or Throsting being a Norse personal name for the thrush.
Norsemen began raiding Eastern England in the middle of the ninth century which would make it a very late settlement, and Norse endings of villages were 'by' or 'thorpe' not 'tun' .
The only explanation of Skeats derivation would be if a Norse raider over-ran an Anglo-Saxon village and gave it his own name, but kept the original ending. Taking all the evidence into consideration, Ekwall's explanation is more likely.
Click here to see a copy of Troston's 2011 Census.