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What > Whatever Happened to Dunwich

Whatever Happened to Dunwich

Over the centuries Dunwich has been a Roman fort, the capital of a Saxon Kingdom and the base from which St Felix, the first Bishop of Dunwich, converted East Anglia to Christianity.

By the 11th century it was one of the greatest ports on the east coast, the tenth largest place in England, a crusader port, a naval base, and a religious centre with many large churches, monasteries, hospitals, grand public buildings and even a mint. Its citizens grew wealthy from trade, shipbuilding and a seventy vessel fishing fleet. It had one sixth of the population of London and two seats in Parliament. All of it has been lost to the North Sea except for the ruins of the 13th century Franciscan friary on the edge of the cliff and Leper Hospital chapel in the present churchyard.

Dunwich is now a tiny village of barely more than 120 people and a few offshore fishing boats, a friendly 17th century pub, a well-known beach café and of course, a museum devoted to its fascinating history.