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Walberswick, Suffolk Villages & Towns - History, Genealogy & Trade Directories

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Walberswick Public Houses

WALBERSWICK in 1844, is an ancient village, near the sea, on the south side of the river Blythe, 1 1/2 miles S.S.W. of Southwold, and 3 1/2 miles N.N.E. of Dunwich, has in its parish 339 souls, and 1771 acres of land, including about 130 acres of open salt marshes and heath, on which all parishioners have a right to graze cattle or geese. It is a place of great antiquity, and was once a considerable town, which carried on an extensive commerce both by land and sea, especially in fish; having, in 1451, thirteen barks trading to Iceland, Ferro, and the North Seas, and twenty-two fishing boats employed off this coast. The alteration of the port, which ruined the town of Dunwich, proved a source of increased prosperity to Walberswick, which continued to thrive till the middle of the sixteenth century, when the alteration made in the established religion proved highly detrimental to this, as well as to many other towns of the coast, whose principal support was derived from the fishery. From that time, Walberswick began gradually to decline, and repeated and destructive conflagrations hastened its ruin. Before 1583, it suffered severely by fire; in 1633, a great part of it was burned; in 1683, it was again visited by a similar scourge; and in 1749, about one third of the small remains of the town was consumed. But since the haven of the Blythe has been improved, by the erection of piers at its mouth, Walberswick has increased its population from less than 200 to 339 souls, and has now a quay for vessels of 100 tons, and a lime-kiln which burns the lime and makes coke under one process, built in 1839, by Mr. Samuel Gayfer, the present proprietor. Sir Charles Blois, Bart., is lord of the manor, which is mostly freehold, and the other principal landowners are Mr. William Borrett and Charles Peckover, Esq. The Church (St. Andrew) was rebuilt by the parishioners, who commenced the new fabric in 1473, and finished it in 1493. It was a large and handsome structure, and contained a chapel of Our Lady, and images of the Holy Trinity, the Rood, St. Andrew, and several other saints. Though it suffered considerably from the puritanical visitors of the 17th century, it continued nearly entire till 1696, when the inhabitants, unable to support the charge of repairs, took down the greater part of it, reserving only the south-west angle for divine service: some of the outer walls of the chancel are, however, still standing. When entire, the church was 124 feet long, and 60 broad. The tower, which is 90 feet high, was partly blown down in 1839, but was repaired in the following year. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, valued in 1835 at £41, and enjoyed by the Rev. Richard Harrison, together with that of Blythburgh. Sir Charles Blois is patron and also impropriator of the tithes, which were commuted, in 1840, for a yearly modus of .£193. Here is a small Independent Chapel, erected in 1831. Lampland Marsh, let for £5 per annum, has been held from time immemorial for the reparation of the church. Upon 34 acres of enclosed marsh, every householder has a right to turn one head of cattle. On 40 acres of salt marsh, all parishioners have the right to turn what stock they choose, and the poor avail themselves of the privilege by feeding upon it great quantities of geese. A heath of 84 1/2 acres is an open pasture for all resident parishioners, who have also the liberty of cutting furze, turf, ling, &c. The tenant of Westwood Lodge has also the right of turning sheep upon this heath, adjoining which is 3 1/2 acres of open marsh, stocked in the same manner. This marsh might be enclosed and improved at a small expense.
Banks John, shoemaker
Cleveland Martha, schoolmistress
Cleveland William, shopkeeper
Cullingford Robert, bricklayer
Easey William, victualler, Blue Anchor
Gayfer Samuel, corn miller & merchant and lime and coke burner
Harrison Rev Richard, incumbent
Lawrence Sarah, victualler, Bell
Osborn William shopkeeper
Threadkill John, wheelwright
Whincop George, blacksmith
Wright Henry, master mariner

Easey L.
Borrett William (owner)
Leverett John
Gayfer James
Wing Edward, Manor House
Wright Benj.
Wright John

And Last updated on: Thursday, 15-Dec-2022 23:59:47 GMT