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Dunwich

From Academic Kids

This article is about the village and former city of Dunwich in England. For information on the fictional setting from the Cthulhu mythos, see Dunwich (H. P. Lovecraft).


Dunwich was once a prosperous seaport and centre of the wool trade in the county of Suffolk in England during the early middle ages, with a natural harbour formed by the mouths of the River Blyth and the River Dunwich. Over time, the rivers silted up, and Dunwich was lost to the sea over a period of two to three hundred years through a form of coastal erosion known as long-shore drift.

Dunwich was one of the largest ports in eastern England, with a population of around 3,000, eight churches, five houses of religious orders, three chapels and two hospitals. The main exports were wool and grain, and the main imports were fish, furs and timber from Iceland and the Baltic region, cloth from the Netherlands, and wine from France.

Little remains now but a village, and most of the original buildings have disappeared, including all eight churches (a new church was built in the 19th century). However, the remains of a Franciscan priory and a building constructed as a hospice for lepers can still be seen. As a legacy of its previous significance it retained the right to send two Members to Parliament until 1832 (see also rotten borough).

The village now lies between the birdwatching areas of Dunwich Heath (to the north, towards Walberswick and Southwold) and Minsmere (to the south, towards Sizewell).

Dunwich is the destination of the annual semi-organised bicycle ride, the Dunwich Dynamo, which leaves Hackney in London on the Saturday night closest to the full moon in July and arrives in Dunwich on the Sunday morning.

See also

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