Suffolk is a wonderful county packed to the brim with mile after mile of picturesque countryside filled with beautiful and rare wildlife; an unlimited number of exciting and informative attractions for all the family; numerous shops, hotels, restaurants, cottages, museums and beaches; and – of course – Suffolk is rich in history and character. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could travel back in time to get a glimpse of what Suffolk was like in ye olden days? Continue reading this article, which features a brief overview of some lovely Suffolk towns alongside fascinating photos, to do just that!
All of the photos featured in this article were downloaded with kind permission from VisitThePast.co.uk – kindly click on this link to view many more old Victorian and Edwardian photos of Suffolk as well as an enormous selection of fascinating old photos from all over Great Britain.
***Please note: all photographs in this article are Copyright Dave Upton. Downloading and copying is prohibited.
For other, more modern, photos of Suffolk and Suffolk attractions, please see Photos of Suffolk
Old and Rare Photos of Suffolk: LOWESTOFT
Lowestoft is today a beautiful and traditional seaside town on the most easterly point of the British coast. Lowestoft has held on to its roots whilst also venturing into a modernisation that consists of a multitude of attractions, shops, restaurants and accommodation that all add up to make it the perfect family holiday location.
Lowestoft is Suffolk’s second largest town, and was a fishing port from the Middle Ages right up until the 20th Century. Today it is renowned for its breath-taking sandy beaches that come complete with good old fashioned donkey rides. Lowestoft has two piers: the Claremont Pier, once serving as a port of call for ships travelling to and from London, and the South Pier. Lowestoft has been subject to periodic flooding; the most notable was in January 1953 when a swell in the North Sea created by low pressure and a high tide flooded most of the southern town.
Lowestoft had an unfortunate part to play in both World Wars. It was bombarded by the German Navy in 1916, and, during World War II, it was used as a navigation point by German bombers. As a result, it was the most heavily bombed town in the UK. Old mines and bombs are still being dredged up today.
Lowestoft is also famous for its porcelain – previously produced in the 18th Century – which consisted of mainly domestic wares designed for a middle class audience and is now extremely valuable and popular with collectors. Lowestoft collectors divide the factory’s products into three distinct periods, Early circa 1756 to 1761, Middle-Period circa 1761 to 1768 and Late-Period circa 1768 to the closure of the factory in 1799.
Despite its ill-fated history, Lowestoft remains a firm family-holiday destination with many an attraction to offer – not least the Lowestoft Air Festival, and the Honda Formula 4 Stoke Series, each held every year. For more details on these two exciting events please see Photos of Suffolk, and also click on the following links for more information: Lowestoft
Old and Rare Photos of Suffolk: SOUTHWOLD
Southwold is another highly popular seaside town in Suffolk, featuring areas of breath-taking natural beauty and original architecture. Southwold sits on a hill surrounded by the Blyth Valley and the River Blythe, giving it the effect of being an island.
Southwold has a number of preserved greens. These greens represent the original locations of various buildings that were destroyed in the 1659 a fire that ruined much of the town. Today these greens, and the restriction of expansion because of the surrounding marshes, have preserved its genteel appearance.
On the green just above the beach there is Gun Hill, which was host to the Battle of Sole Bay, fought in 1672 between English and French fleets on one side and the Dutchon the other. Southwold Museum has a collection of information on and memorabilia from the event. During World War II, the cannons on Gun Hill meant that Southwold gained the status of “fortified town”. As such, Southwold became the target of many bombing raids by Germany.
Another landmark is Southwold lighthouse, constructed in 1887. It replaced three local lighthouses which were under serious threat from coastal erosion. The lighthouse is unusual in that the light itself is switched on and off in sequence, rather than the more usual rotating beam.
Southwold Pier was built in 1900, was practically destroyed by a gale in 1934, and had a major refurbishment in 2001. Whilst many English seaside piers are in decline, Southwold Pier is enjoying renewed popularity. It includes a collection of modern coin-operated novelty machines as well as other traditional seaside amusements and facilities.
Also, don’t forget to check out the brilliant Laugh in the Park Comedy Festival, the Latitude Festival and the Festival of the Sea – all held yearly in Southwold. Please see Suffolk Festivals for full details of these great festivals and more.
Please click here for our guide to the wonderful town of Southwold.
Please also see our article on to Hotels in Southwold, as well as our guides to:
Accommodation in Southwold
Attractions in Southwold
Eating Out in Southwold
Pubs in Southwold
Please also see:
Guide to Attractions in Felixstowe
Guide to Accommodation in Felixstowe
If you have any old or rare photos of Suffolk towns and buildings that you would like to share please contact us at [email protected].