"LEISTON, a parish in the hundred of Blything, county Suffolk, 4 miles S.E. of Saxmundham, its post town, and 4 N.W. of Aldborough. It is a station on the Aldborough branch of the Great Eastern railway. It is situated on the coast of the North Sea, and contains the hamlet of Sizewell. Here is the extensive agricultural implement manufactory of Garrett and Sons, whose premises extend over seven acres of land, with five steam engines. Water-proofings and grease are also manufactured here. Half a mile distant from the town, which is lighted with gas and partially paved, are the ruins of Leiston Abbey, in the midst of which are a flower garden and a farmhouse of modern construction. A large portion of the land belongs to the crown, having been seized by Henry VIII. at the dissolution of Leiston Abbey. This monastery was founded in 1182 by Ranulph de Glanville for Premonstratensian canons, and had a revenue at the Dissolution of £181 17s. 4d. It was rebuilt in 1389 after a fire.

Sizewell Gap, situated about 2 miles distant, is a fishery and coastguard station. The appropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £435. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Norwich, value £376, in the patronage of Christ's Hospital and the Haberdashers' Company alternately. The church, dedicated to St. Margaret, was erected in 1853, and has a flint tower containing five bells. It stands about a quarter of a mile W. of the village. The register dates from 1538. The charities produce about £73 per annum, chiefly the produce of a farm bequeathed by Thomas Grimsby, Esq., in 1721. There are parochial and infant schools for both sexes, supported by voluntary contributions, also a mechanics' institute. The Wesleyans and the Society of Friends have each a chapel. The principal residence is Leiston Abbey, which stands near the ruins of the old monastery."

"SIZEWELL, a hamlet in the parish of Leiston, hundred of Blything, county Suffolk, 4 miles N.E. of Aldborough, its post town. It is situated under Sizewell Cliffs, on the coast. Near to the shore is Sizewell Bank, a growing shoal 6 miles by three-quarters of a mile in extent. Sizewell Gap, a small bay on the coast, was formerly a place for smugglers, and is now a coastguard station. The living is a perpetual curacy annexed to that of Leiston, in the diocese of Norwich. There was formerly a chapel, dedicated to St. Nicholas."

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



"From Flint Knappers to Atom Splitters: A History of Leiston-cum-Sizewell", Daphne & Kenneth May; Quickthorn, 2001; ISBN 0954087003, 9780954087005, 276pp.

Church History

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

Description & Travel

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Leiston has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TM443639 (Lat/Lon: 52.219063, 1.575671), Leiston which are provided by:


Military Records

View the Leiston Roll Of Honour.

We commemorate one of those listed thereon:

In Memoriam

Charles CABLE

Royal Naval Reserve

Deck Hand 4315DA, Royal Naval Reserve, HM Drifter Campania II
Died 05 March 1917
HM Drifter Campania II was lost with all hands on 5th March 1917
Commemorated on Panel 26, Chatham Naval Memorial

b. 18 Mar 1881, East Bridge, Suffolk
m. Jan 1906, Mutford, to Ethel Maud R HOWES
d. 5 Mar 1917, HM Drifter "Campania II"

Son of William Cable and Emma Cable, of Theberton and Leiston, Suffolk

He leaves behind a widow, Ethel Maud R, 17 Stanley Street West, North Shields, a daughter Gladys, and siblings William G, Agnes L, Ellen, Eliza, Elizabeth, and Mordy


1891 Census - "The Common", Leiston
1901 Census - Boarder, Kirkley, Suffolk (54 St Peter Street, Lowestoft)
1911 Census - 74 Tennyson Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
National Archives BT 377/7/50789, UK Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll
UK Royal Naval Reserve Service Records
Royal Naval Reserve UK, Panel 26 Chatham Naval Memorial
England and Wales FreeBMD