THE name of our village is said to mean the Hamlet or Encampment (ham) of the people (ing) of Finn (or Finna). Hence, Finn – ing – ham. We do not know who Finn or Finna was but the name has a certain Nordic ring to it so, it is likely that it comes from one of the raiders from across the North Sea. This area was, of course heavily populated by the Angles (East Anglia).
In common with many other villages in this area, Finningham features in The Doomsday Book, where it mentions that the village was under the Patronage of St Edmund (the monastery ruins can still been seen in Bury St Edmunds). The Church, dedicated to St Bartholomew, is shown and parts of the existing building are said to be Norman.
The roof of the Nave is devoid of any decorative carving on the tips of the Hammer Beams. It was thought that these were removed by Oliver Cromwell’s “”Commissioner for the destruction of monuments of idolatry and superstition” – William Dowsing. However, as he kept records of all the work he carried out in the Churches throughout this region, it is interesting to note that these records do not mention the removal of any carvings on the beams in our church. It is possible that their destruction comes from an earlier period (possibly Henry Vlll).
Finningham’s Sporting History