1902 Encyclopedia > Suffolk




The following figures are in continuation of the table in vol. iv. p. 792.

implements and other indications of the presence of prehistoric man have been found. The most interesting-deposits are, however, those of the crag of the late Miocene and Pliocene periods, resting on the London clay, or, where it overlaps, on the Chalk. At the base of the crag resting on the London clay is the famous Suffolk bone bed. The coast-line has a length of about 52 miles, and is comparatively regular, with only slight convexities towards the sea, the bays being generally shallow and the headlands rounded and only slightly prominent. The estuaries of the Deben, Orwell, and Stour are however, of some length. The shore is generally low and marshy, with occasional clay and sand cliffs. The rivers flowing northwards are the Lark in the north-west corner, which passes in a north-westerly direction to the Great Ouse in Norfolk ; the Little Ouse or Brandon, also a tributary of the Great Ouse, flowing by Thetford and Brandon and forming part of the northern boundary of the county ; and the Waveney, which rises in Norfolk and forms the boundary between that county and Suffolk, from Palgrave till it falls into the mouth of the Yare at Yarmouth. The Waveney is navigable from Bungay, and by means of Lake Lothing also communicates with Lowestoft. The rivers flowing in a south-easterly direction to the North Sea are the Blyth ; the Alde or Ore, which has a course for a long distance parallel to the seashore, and has its port at Orford ; the Deben, from Debenham, flowing past Woodbridge, up to which it is navigable ; the Orwell or Gipping, which is navigable to Stowmarket, whence it flows past Needham Market and Ipswich ; and the Stour, which forms nearly the whole southern boundary of the county, receiving the Brett, which flows past Lavenham and Hadleigh ; it is navigable from Sudbury and has an important port at Harwich. The county has no valuable minerals. Cement is dug for Roman cement ; and lime and whiting are obtained in various districts.

Agriculture. - Suffolk is one of the most fertile counties in England. In the 15th century it was famed for its daisy products. The high prices of corn during the wars of the French Revolution led to the extensive breaking up of its pastures, and it is now one of the principal corn-growing counties in England. There is considerable variety of soils, and consequently in modes of farming, in different parts of the county. Along the sea-coast a sandy loam or thin sandy soil prevails, covered in some places with heath, on which large quantities of sheep are fed, and interspersed with tracts, more or less marshy, on which cattle are 1-razed. The best land adjoins the rivers, and consists of a rich sandy loam, with patches of lighter and easier soil. In the south-west and the centre is much fine corn laud, having mostly a clay subsoil, but not so tenacious as the clay in Essex. In climate Suffolk is one of the driest of the English counties, the rainfall being only half that of the counties in the west. Towards the north-west the soil is generally poor, consisting partly of sand on chalk and partly of peat and open heath.

According to the agricultural returns for 1886, 780,448 acres or nearly five-sixths of the total area were under cultivation, 363,641 being under corn crops, 120,256 under green crops, 94,893 clover and rotation grasses, 174,970 permanent pasture, 19 flax, 57 hops, and 26,612 fallow. Wheat and barley are the most important of the corn crops, having an area of 118,873 and 151,630 respectively. Of green crops only 2452 were under potatoes, while 55,434 were under turnips and swedes, 36,211 under mangold, 852 under carrots, 4100 under cabbage, and 21,207 under vetches, - figures which indicate that much attention is paid to the winter feeding of cattle. Horses in 1886 numbered 42,617, of which 32,262 were used solely for purposes of agriculture. The breed known as Suffolk punches is one of the most valued for agricultural purposes in England (see AGRICULTURE, vol. i. p. 385). Cattle numbered 70,695, of which 23,652 were cows and heifers in milk or in calf, and 17,322 other cattle two years old and above. The breed native to the county is a polled variety, on the improvement of which great pains have been bestowed in recent years. The old Suffolk cows, famous for their great milking qualities, were of various colours, yellow predominating. The improved are all red. Much milk is now sent to London, Yarmouth, &c. Many cattle, mostly imported from Ireland, are grazed in the winter. The sheep are nearly all of the black-faced improved Suffolk breed, a cross between the old Norfolk horned sheep and Southdowns. Sheep numbered 433,986, of which 230,954 were one year old and above. Suffolk Is famous In 1883 10 francs 50 cents were charged per ton (net tonnage), and pilotage dues amounted to 70 cents per ton on an average ; on 1st July 1884 pilotage dues were abolished ; and in 1885 the transit dues were reduced to 9 francs 50 cents per ton.

late SUFFOLK, the most easterly county in England, is bounded E. by the North Sea, N. by Norfolk, W. by Cambridge, and S. by Essex, the boundaries being chiefly the sea and rivers; it has somewhat the shape of a half moon. Its greatest length north to south from Yarmouth to Land-guard Point is about 50 miles, and its average length about 30; its greatest breadth from east to west is about 55 miles. The total area of the county is 944,060 acres, or 141'5 square miles.

The principal geological formations are the Chalk and the Tertiaries, but they are frequently overlaid by drift. The surface is for the most part flat or slightly undulating. In the extreme north-west round Mildenhall it joins the fen country. The fen land is bordered by a low range of chalk hills extending from Haverhill by Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds to Thetford. The Chalk extends eastwards, but towards the south passes under the London clay and crag, which adjoins the mouths of the principal rivers and extends from Sudbury by Ipswich to Aldeburgh. The easterly slopes of the Chalk are also overlaid by beds of clay, as well as by post-Glacial gravels, in which flint for pigs. The breed most common is small and very compact, and black in colour. Pigs numbered 121,866 in 1886.

The following table gives classifications of holdings in 1875 and 1885: - Thus in 1875there were in all 9714 holdings with 767 085 acres and in 1885 9357 with 782,019 acres. According to the latest landowners Return (1873) Suffolk was divided among 19,276 proprietors, holding 920,268 acres, at a valued rental of £1,784,827, or an average all over of about £1, 18s. Sid. per acre. Of the owners 12,511 or nearly three-fourths possessed less than one acre each. The following possessed over 10,000 acres each : - Lord Rendlesham, 19,869 ; George Tomline, 18,473; marquis of Bristol, 16,954 ; the maharajah Dhuleep H. H. Singh, 14,615 ; Lord Huntingfield, 11,713 ; earl of Stradbroke, 11,697 ; Sir Richard Wallace, 11,223 ; Lord Henniker, 10,910.

Communication. - The river navigation affords means of communication with different ports, and supplies facilities for a considerable amount of traffic. The county is intersected in all direCtions by branches of the Great Eastern Railway, which touch at almost every town of importance.

Manufactures and Trade. - The county is essentially agricultural, and the most important manufactures relate to this branch of industry. They include that of agricultural implements, especially at Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, and Stowmarket, and that of artificial manures at Ipswich and Stowmarket, for which coprolites are dug. Malting is extensively carried on throughout the county. There is a gun-cotton manufactory at Stowmarket, and gun flints are still made at Brandon. At different towns a variety of small miscellaneous manufactures are carried on, including silk, cotton, linen, woollen, and horsehair and cocoa-nut matting. The principal ports are Yarmouth (situated chiefly in Norfolk), Lowestoft, Southwold, Aldeburgh, Woodbridge, and Ipswich. Yarmouth is one of the most important fishing stations on the east coast of England ; within the county Lowestoft is the chief fishing town. Herrings and mackerel are the fish most abundant on the coasts.

Administration and Population. - Suffolk comprises 21 hundreds; the boroughs of Beceles (pop. 5721), which has several large malt-lugs ; Bury St Edmunds (16,111), the chief town in West Suffolk; Eye (2296), an ancient market town ; Ipswich (50,546), the largest town and principal port of the county ; Aldeburgh (2106), the birthplace of Cmbbe ; Southwold (2107), a fishing town and bathing resort; the largest part (5855) of Sudbury (6584), a market and manufacturing town ; and small portions of the boroughs of Thetford and Great Yarmouth, which are situated chiefly in Norfolk. The other principal towns are Hadleigh (3237), with a considerable trade in corn and malt ; Haverhill (3685) (partly in Essex), of great antiquity, and possessing important silk manufactures ; Lowestoft (16,755), a port and fishing station ; Stowmarket (4052) ; and Woodbridge (4544), with some coasting trade. Suffolk is divided into geldable portions, in which the sovereign has the chief rights, and liberties. The liberties are those of St Etheldreda, St Edmund, and the dukedom of Norfolk. The court of quarter sessions is at Ipswich for the eastern division and by adjournment at Bury St Edmunds for the western. There are nineteen petty and sessional divisions. The hundreds of Hartismere and Stow and the borough of Eye are for petty sessional purposes included in the eastern division, and for other purposes in the western. The boroughs of Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Great Yarmouth, and Sudbury have commissions of the peace and separate courts of quarter sessions ; and Eye and Southwold have commissions of the peace. For parliamentary purposes the county was until 1885 divided into East and West Suffolk, but it now constitutes five divisions, each returning one member, viz., North or Lowestoft division, North-east or Eye, North-west or Stowmarket, South or Sudbury, and South-east or Woodbridge. Bury St Edmunds returns one member and Ipswich two ; Eye, which formerly returned one member, was merged in the North-east division of the county in 1885. The county contains 517 civil parishes with parts of 7 others. It is mostly in the diocese of Norwich. From 214,404 in 1801 the population had increased by 1821 to 271,541, by 1841 to 315,073, by 1861 to 337,070, and by 1881 to 356,893, of whom 174,606 were males and 182,287 females. The number of persons to an acre was 0.38 and of acres to a person 2.65.

History and Antiquities. - The district which now includes Norfolk, Suffolk, and a portion of Cambridge, and afterwards formed East Anglia, had in early times, on account of the marshes to the west, practically the character of a peninsula. It was inhabited by the Iceni, who had their capital at Icklingham, in the north-west of Suffolk. Of the numerous barrows and tumuli belonging to this period mention may be made of those at Fornham St Geneveve and those between Aldeburgh and Snaps. Many of the mediawal castles were built on ancient mounds. The district submitted to the Romans during the campaign of Aulus Plautius, and, although the Iceni joined the Trinobantes under Boadicea, the resistance made was ultimately fruitless. A Roman road from London crossed the centre of Suffolk northwards by Stratford St Mary, Needham Market, and Billingford (Norfolk) to Norwich, another passing in a more westerly direction to Thetford. Walton, where important Roman relics have been found, Dunwich (possibly Sitomagus), and Burgh Castle (probably Combrelonium), one of the most perfect specimens of a Roman fort in England, enclosing an area of five acres, are supposed to have been Roman fortified stations erected for the defence of the Saxon shore. Other Roman stations were at Stratford St Mary, Thetford, and Icklingham. The capital of the kingdom of East Anglia was at Dunwich in Suffolk. Afterwards East Anglia was divided into Norfolk and Suffolk. Sigebert established an ecclesiastical diocese at Dunwich in 630, and erected a palace and a churchpartly out of the Roman remains. The earldom of Norfolk and Suffolk was bestowed by the Conqueror on Ralph le Guader. Though Suffolk suffered from incursions of the Danes, they did not effect a complete subjugation of it. The prevailing terminations of the place names are Anglian. The remains of old castles are comparatively unimportant, the principal being the entrenchments and part of the walls of Bungay, the ancient stronghold of the Bigods ; the picturesque ruins of Mettingham, built by John de Norwich in the reign of Edward III. o Wingfield, surrounded by a deep moat, with the turret walls and the drawbridge still existing ; the splendid ruin of Framlingham, with high and massive walls, originally founded in the 6th century, but restored in the 12th ; the outlines of the extensive fortress of Clare Castle, anciently the baronial residence of the earls of Clare ; and the fine Norman keep of Orford Castle, on an eminence overlooking the sea. Among the many fine residences within the county there are several interesting examples of domestic architecture of the reigns of Henry VIII. and Elizabeth. Throughout its whole history the annals of Suffolk have been comparatively uneventful. It adhered with Norfolk to the cause of the Parliament. James duke of York twice defeated the Dutch off the coast, - viz., Van Tromp oft' Lowestoft on 3d June 1665 and De Ruyter in Southwold Bay on 28th May 1672. Of monastic remains the most important are. those of the great Benedictine abbey of Bury St Edmunds, noticed under that town ; the college of Clare, originally a cell to the abbey of Bee in Normandy and afterwards to St Peter's,'Westminster, converted into a college of secular canons in the reign of Henry VI., and still retaining much of its ancient architecture, and now used as a boarding-school ; the decorated gateway of the Augustinian priory of Butley; and the remains of the Grey Friars monastery at Dunwich. A peculiarity of the church architecture is the use of flint for purposes of ornamentation, often of a very elaborate kind, especially on the porches and parapets of the towers. Another characteristic is the round towers, which are confined to East Anglia, but are considerably more numerous in Norfolk than in Suffolk, the principal being those of Little Saxham and Herringfieet, both good examples of .."\ orman. It is questionable whether there are any remains of Saxon architecture in the county. The Decorated is well represented, but by far the greater proportion of the churches are Perpendicular, special features being the open roofs and woodwork and the fine fonts.

See Blame's Description of Suffolk, 1673; Kirby's Description, 1748, 26 ed. 1820 ; Suckling's History of Suffelk,18,18-48; Hervey's Visitation of Suffolk in 1561, ed., with additions, by Dr J. J. Howard, 1866 ; and Browne's History of Congregationalism and Memorial of Churches in Suffolk, 1877. (T. F. II.).


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