Dunwich  Suffolk


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Dunwich like this:

DUNWICH, a decayed ancient town, and a parish, in Blything district, Suffolk. The town stands on the coast, 4½ miles E of Darsham r. station, and 4½ SSW of Southwold. It is supposed to have been a seat of the Britons, or a Roman station; and it has yielded Roman coins and urns. It was known to the Saxons as Domoc or Dunmoc; and, during the heptarchy, was the metropolis of East Anglia. ...

It became the seat of a diocese in 630; and, after a division of that diocese in 673, it continued to be the seat of the bishops of Suffolk till they removed to Thetford in 955. It belonged, at Domesday, to the Malets; and it had then three churches and a royal forest. It was made a mint town by Henry II.; received a charter from John; paid, under Richard I., for supplying the king's enemies with corn, a fine of 6, 000 merks, while Ipswich paid only 200; contributed to the navy of Edward I. eleven ships of war; and possessed, at the same time, 16 good ships, 20 barks, and 24 boats for its own home trade. It also had six parish churches, 3 chapels, a Knights-Templars' preceptory, a Black friary, a Grey friary, a Maison-Dieu, a lepers' hospital, and a number of other religions foundations. It likewise had a weekly market, a market-cross, and a jail; and it sent two members to parliament from the time of Edward I. till disfranchised by the act of 1832. But it is now a small village, without any prospect of becoming again a town. It lost part of its prosperity by the opening of a port at Blythburgh; but it owed its main decay to the destruction of its harbour and its streets by encroachments of the sea. Its site was an eminence, composed of loose sand and loam; and both a part of that site, and parts of the adjacent coast for several miles to the east, have sunk beneath the waves. An ivy-clad ruin of the Grey friars, the fragment of a church on the end of a cliff, a chapel of Saxon architecture, and some remains of the lepers' hospital and the Maison-Dieu, are the only vestiges of the ancient town. The present parish church is a structure of 1830, in good modern Gothic, in lieu of a previous ruined church. A fair is held on 25 July. Day, the printer, was a native of the town; and the Earl of Stradbroke takes from it the title of Viscount. The parish comprises 1, 130 acres of land and 335 of water. Post town, Westleton, under Saxmundham. Real property, £885. Pop., 227. Houses, 50. Dunwich Bank lies about a mile from the shore; is about 2 miles long; and has from 3 to 4 fathoms of water. Dunwich House is the seat of F. Barne, Esq. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £52. Patron, F. Barne, Esq. Charities, £170.

Dunwich through time

Dunwich is now part of Suffolk Coastal district. Click here for graphs and data of how Suffolk Coastal has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Dunwich itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Dunwich in Suffolk Coastal | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 23rd June 2021

Not where you were looking for?

Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time , and maybe some references to other places called " Dunwich ".