Map of Suffolk


"SUFFOLK, a maritime county on the E. coast of England, is bounded N. by Norfolk, E. by the German Ocean, S. by Essex, and W. by Cambridge. It lies between 51 56' and 52 37' N. lat., 0 23' and 1 46' E. long. Its greatest length from Southtown, a suburb of Great Yarmouth, on the N.E., to the south-western border, is 68 miles, and the extreme breadth 52 miles. The area is 1,481 square miles, or 947,681 acres, of which about 820,000 acres are arable land, meadow, and pasture. The population in 1801 was 214,404; in 1851, 337,215; and in 1861, 337,070. In the earliest times of which we have any record, it was inhabited by the Iceni, a British tribe, and subsequently formed part of the Roman province of Flavia Caesariensis. It was afterwards occupied by the Angles, and formed part of the kingdom of East Anglia. In 654, Penda, king of Mercia, attacked the East Anglians, and in a battle fought near Blytheburgh, slew their king. The Danes early commenced their ravages along this coast, and in 871 defeated and took prisoner Edmund, king of East Anglia, whom they put to death for refusing to renounce Christianity. His body was removed from Hoxne to Bury, which received in consequence the name of Bury St. Edmund's, and a monastery was erected to his honour. In the division of the kingdom under Alfred the county was included within the Danelagh, and at the time of the Norman conquest was held by Gurth, brother of Harold II. The surface of this county is generally flat, or gently undulating, there being no eminence in the whole county worthy of notice. The highest ground lies towards the W., through which, some miles to the W. of Bury, and thence to Thetford, runs a chalk dyke, which crosses this part of England in a north-easterly direction. This ridge separates the watershed of the N. from that of the S. of the county, the streams on the upper side flowing into the Little Ouse and Waveney, while those on the lower side fall into the Stour and Orwell, or directly into the German Ocean. The north western districts bordering on Cambridgeshire partake of its marshy, fenny nature, and in some places the land is secured from overflow of the rivers by large embankments along their course. The coast line, 52 miles in length, is for the most part regular, and convex to the sea. The bays are generally shallow, and the headlands have little prominence. The principal harbours are formed by the estuaries of the Orwell and Stour on the S.E., and of the other rivers which flow into the German Ocean. The shore is in most places low and sandy, and occasionally marshy; but low cliffs, composed of alternations of clay, sand, and gravel, are found on both sides of the estuary of the Deben, and at some other points. These are being slowly undermined by the sea, while at some places the reverse occurs, and accessions of land are being formed by the accumulation of marine deposits. Lowestoft, Southwold, and Felixstow are much resorted to as watering-places. " (There is more of this description).

From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003


Archives and Libraries


Simon Knott's bibliography of Suffolk and its churches.

Church History

Suffolk is renowned for the quantity and quality of its historic churches, many built with the profits of the wool trade.

Civil Registration

Description and Travel


You may find it worthwhile searching in the GENUKI Gazetteer.


Historical Geography



Military History

Military Records



Poor Houses, Poor Law, etc.

Probate Records

When a person dies, probate is the act of proving a will, or if none has been made, deciding who will adminster the deceased's estate.