"KESSINGLAND, a parish in the hundred of Mutford, county Suffolk, 5 miles S. of Lowestoft, its post town and railway station, and 8 N.E. of Beccles. The village, which is considerable, was formerly a market town and a place of some importance. The North Sea, which bounds the parish on the E., is making great encroachments on the land, and has swept away some portion of the village, and the old town walls are embedded in the sand. There is a coastguard station, also a signal-station on the beech. The soil is clayey. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of 405. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Norwich, value 428, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Edmund, is an ancient structure, with lofty square tower containing five bells. In the interior is an octagonal font, on the aides of which are carved the figures of St. Edmund and others. The living was for some time held, by Whiston. The church, which formerly belonged to St. Clare's Nunnery, London, was rebuilt in 1694. The register commences in 1603. Near the church are remains of buildings called the Nunnery yard, but there is no record of any religious house. The charities produce about 70 per annum, a considerable portion of which was left for the repairs of the church. The Wesleyans have a chapel, and there is a parochial school. John Morse, Esq., is lord of the manor."

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



Church History

Descriptions and photographs of churches in the parish may be found in Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches.

Church Records

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Historical Geography


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