Southwold, Suffolk Family History Guide

Southwold is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Suffolk, created in 1752 from chapelry in Reydon Ancient Parish.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1602

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Southwold

  • Walberswick
  • Reydon
  • Benacre

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

SOUTHWOLD, a town and a parish in Blything district, Suffolk. The town stands on the coast, between a creek and the river Blythe's mouth, 8 miles E by S of Halesworth r. station; was known to the Saxons as Sudwald, signifying "south-wood;'' belonged, at Domesday, to Bury abbey, and paid it then 25,000 herrings; passed to the Earls of Gloucester, and had a castle of theirs; was nearly all destroyed by fire in 1659; witnessed great sea-fights, between the English and the Dutch, in its near vicinity, in 1665 and 1672; was chartered by Henry VII., and is governed, under the new act, by a mayor, 4 alder men, and 12 councillors; is a seat of petty sessions, and a bathing-place; carries on extensive fishing, iron and brass founding, brewing, rope-making, and salt-manufacture; and has a post-office under Wangford, a banking office, two chief inns, a pier-harbour formed in 1749-52, a breakwater to prevent sea-encroachment, a battery of six 18-pounders, a coastguard station, several handsome marine villas, a town hall of 1819, a recently restored church of 1460, 144 feet long by 64, with a tower 100 feet high, Independent and Wesleyan chapels, national schools, a dispensary, charities £43, and a fair on Trinity Monday and the two following days. The parish is conterminate with the town. Acres, 566; of which 20 are water. Real property, £6,053; of which £25 are in gasworks. Pop., 2,032. Houses, 484. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £130. Patron, the Rev. E. Hollond.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Backhouse Noah, Southwold, Suffolk, whitesmith and gun maker, May 12, 1840.


  • County: Suffolk
  • Civil Registration District: Blything
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Suffolk
  • Diocese: Norwich
  • Rural Deanery: Dunwich
  • Poor Law Union: Blything
  • Hundred: Blything
  • Province: Canterbury