"DUNWICH, a parish and seaport, having separate jurisdiction, but locally situated in the hundred of Blything, in the county of Suffolk, 4 miles S.W. of Southwold, and 4 S.E. of Blythburg. Yoxford is its post town. It is situated on the cliffs overlooking the North Sea, and was formerly a market town and borough, returning two members to parliament, but was disfranchised by the passing of the Reform Bill. It is believed to have been a Roman station, and was the Dumoc or Dunmoc of the Saxons, the capital of East Anglia, and a bishop's see. At the Domesday survey it was in possession of the Malets, at which time it contained three churches, and continued to increase in importance till at one time there were within its limits above fifty churches and chapels, a preceptory of Knights Templars, founded in the 13th century, monasteries of black and grey friars, and a hospital for lepers. In the reign of Henry II. there was a mint. King John incorporated the town. It was also a place of considerable trade, and furnished eleven ships of war to Edward I. It is now merely a fishing village, the encroachments of the sea having swept away a large portion of the cliffs, and nearly all the old houses and buildings. A few ruins of a monastery and hospital remain; and the tower and ruins of the ancient church of All Saints are still standing. It is a borough, with a recorder, two bailiffs, aldermen, common councilmen, and two magistrates. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Norwich, value £52, in the patronage of F. Barne, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. James, is a handsome modern structure. The parochial charities produce about £170 per annum, a very small portion of which goes towards the support of the church. There is both a day and Sunday school. Roman antiquities, consisting of coins, urns, &c., have been found. It gives the title of Viscount to the Earl of Stradbroke."
Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Descriptions and photographs of churches in the parish may be found in Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches.
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