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"BAWDSEY, a parish in the hundred of Wilford, in the county of Suffolk, 9 miles from Woodbridge, its post town, and 12 miles to the S.E. of Ipswich. It is situated on the coast of the North Sea, at the mouth of the river Deben, there named Bawdsey Haven, which offers good anchorage for small craft. The coast is protected by two martello towers. Bawdsey was formerly a market town, under a grant obtained in the reign of Edward I. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Norwich, value £193, in the gift of the lord chancellor. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, was a fine old structure, in the early Saxon style, and its tower served from the most remote times as a well-known sea-mark; but in 1842 it was burned down, and the stone tower has since been reduced to 60 feet in height. The new church is a small but elegant building, quite sufficient for the wants of the inhabitants, who are entirely agricultural. The Wesleyan Methodists have a chapel in the village. The chief residence is Bawdsey Hall, seated on the cliffs, which are celebrated for their geological and fossil specimens. There is a ferry across to Felixstow, and thence to Harwich."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)


Church History

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


Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

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