Photo from Blythburgh

2 ancient pubs

Ancient pubs are defined as those which are believed to have closed before the middle of the 19th century.

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Population (2011) of Blythburgh: 298.

Local licensing authority for Blythburgh is East Suffolk.

Overview | Gallery | Historical info | Map

About Blythburgh

One of the finest medieval churches in the county now mainly overlooks local marshland; local rumour suggests the existence of an ancient smugglers' tunnel between it and the sea. The village once had a market and a thriving medieval port which is now mostly washed away, especially since the sea wall was breached in 1921. Walks along the wall and local heathland take ramblers to Walberswick.

A local 7th century battle saw invading Danes defeat Anna, an early Saxon Christian King of East Anglia, who was subsequently interred in a nearby priory (investigated in 2009 by a BBC Time Team programme).

Blythburgh was recorded in Domesday variously as "Blideburgh", "Blideburo", "Bledeburc" and "Blieburc". John Speed's 1610 map shows the village as "Bliborugh".

Nearby "Toby Walks" heathland is popular for summer picnics but are said to be haunted by Tobias Gill, a black dragoon stationed in the town in 1750, who was hanged in chains for the murder of a local girl despite pleading his innocence.

Blythburgh Station was on the Southwold Railway, which ran from Halesworth to Southwold. The line opened in 1879 and closed in 1929.

A smock mill stood by the Dunwich Road until its demolition in 1937.

Founded in 1764, the Blything Union Workhouse housed 511 inmates (in 1851) at Bulcamp (pron: "Bulcom") hamlet (1 mile north west of the village). After 1930 the workhouse was renamed the Red House. In 1948 it became Blythburgh & District Hospital and provided care for the chronically sick. In 2001 the site (still containing many original buildings) was redeveloped for residential use.


Some historical information from English Heritage's National Monuments Record.