The second largest settlement in the county and recorded in Domesday as "Lothuwistoft", it was for a long time known as a centre for the fishing industry - especially for herrings which were also dried and smoked in local premises. But today little of this industry remains. The ancient town is said to have been washed away many years ago. Today the town is mainly known as a popular tourist resort with the fine south beach and esplanade. Also see Pakefield, Oulton Broad & Carlton Colville. Kirkley (south of Lake Lothing) was a separate parish until 1907.

John Speed's 1610 map shows the town as "Leſtoft"

One prominent building, opposite the railway station was Tuttle's department store, a family business until 1960 when it was taken over by Debenham's. Subsequently used by Braham's from 1972 to 1981 and since used as smaller shop units. In 2013 it was converted into the Joseph Conrad, a JD Wetherspoon pub.

At the other end of the pedestrianised shopping area the High Street still runs along the northern cliff edge and is connected with the Denes and the beach area located below via a series of "scores" (narrow historic passageways)…




before 1869

The 1823 Pigot's Directory lists Elph & Browne as a brewer & wine & spirts merchant.

In 1839 Pigot's Directory lists George & William Everitt as brewers (High Street), and Richard Thornton as a brewer (South End), and William Youngman as a brewer (High Street).

The 1844 White's Directory also lists twenty beer houses run by:

Samuel Allerton,

Francis Capps,

Jn. Cooper,

John Day,

Susannah Day,

William Dann,

Ham. Dowson (Marriner's Lane),

Robert Gowing,

John Gray,

John Hott,

William Holbury,

William Livock (Chapel Street),

Walter Pye (beech),

Robert Raven (Chapel Street), …


(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)