The village is the home of Homersfield Bridge, a 50-foot span built in 1870 by the Adair estate and the oldest surviving concrete bridge in Britain. It was restored during the 1990s by a partnership between the parish council and various local authorities and heritage bodies.
The village is centred on a small green, around which lie houses from various periods, including a number of traditional thatched houses.
Although the village once had a post office and village shop, only the Black Swan pub now remains, a free house serving Adnams ale and food. There also was once a water mill sited just outside of the village on the road towards St Cross. This was demolished in the 1930s after the Waveney became too silted up to run the mill. A modern house, built in the approximate style of the previous mill, was built around 1999. Homersfield's old railway station is actually just across the river in Norfolk, the line finally closed in the mid 60's.
Homersfield is bordered by a strip of woodland in which sits the flint-built village church. Behind the woodland is a large lake, the site of a former gravel pit. Although once open as an amenity to the village, it is now a private fishing lake.
Sands and gravels have been quarried at Homersfield since the 1940s. They have yielded bones, teeth and tusks of woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, wild horse, bison and reindeer, dating from colder phases of the Ice Age. A mammoth tusk is on display at the Black Swan inn. A panel explaining the Ice Age wildlife interest is located on the village green.
The population of South Elmham St. Mary or Homersfield in the 2011 Census was 158.
The reason for the change of name from South Elmham St. Mary to Homersfield has not been found.
The "Saints" are a group of parishes (usually with a village) in Suffolk, England, between the rivers Blyth and Waveney near to the border with Norfolk. The parishes are all named after their general area of South Elmham (to the west) or Ilketstall (to the east) plus the saint to which their parish church is dedicated. Known by locals as 'up the Parishes' the area is found between the small towns of Halesworth, Harleston, Bungay and Beccles.
During World War II signposts were removed which resulted in many US Airman having difficulty finding the way back to RAF Bungay at Flixton and other local airfields including Metfield. Ilketshall is named after the 'hall of Alfkethill'. South Elmham comes from the Anglo-Saxon "hamlet where elms grew" and is first mentioned in Domesday Book of 1086 as "Almeham". North Elmham is in Norfolk, thirty miles away.
The formal names of each of "the Saints" parishes are as follows:
Each of the villages were ancient or ecclesiastical parishes and to the present also constitutes a civil parish, apart from South Elmham All Saints and South Elmham St. Nicholas, which are now joined together in the South Elmham All Saints and St Nicholas parish within Waveney District.