Recorded in Domesday (along with Little Waldingfield) as "Walingafella" or "Waldingefelda", in late medieval times the village had a reputation for clothing manufacture. One C16th rector, John Hopkins, was one of two men who first set the psalms to music. Today most housing is modern.
Garrison Lane marks the location where Cromwell's troops were billeted during the Siege of Colchester in 1648.
Estimated population (2009) of Great Waldingfield: 1430
Local licensing authority for Great Waldingfield is Babergh