Let us now turn to some villages and towns. First Stoke-by-Nayland, one of the many picturesque small towns that borders the River Stour. It is generally assumed that stoke, to be found in various names in the region, derives from medieval English stoc, which means monastery. However, a monastery, or the remains thereof, is nowhere to be found.
The story about this goes as follows. The Anglosaxon sisters Aethelflaed and Agelflaed were bequeathed with a piece of land when their father died; they were to build a monastery on the land, and were left with enough money to pay for this. However, one of the sisters got married to Brutthoth, an Angelsaxan earl (or ealdorman) who got killed in the battle of Maldon in 991 when engaging a Danish invasion army; he was buried in Ely's cathedral. According to the amateur-archeologist Hardey the money for the convent was temporarily set aside for more pressing matters. After the Norman invasion the plans were abandoned altogether.
We approach Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk, which announces its presence, as so many towns do, by its church.