Lothingland at Start Page UK

The local Internet site for the island of Lothingland in north-east Suffolk, England covering the villages of Blundeston, Flixton, Somerleyton, Lound, Browston Green, Herringfleet, St. Olaves, Fritton, Belton, Burgh Castle, Hopton and Corton. Lothingland on the Internet went live in March 1999, and has developed from there with the help of many local people. This is the archive URL of the web page, the new one is at this address: http://lothingland.co.uk

Lothingland - Where is it? What does it mean?

Lothingland is the area in North Suffolk and South Norfolk bounded by the sea on the East side and the River Waveney ,Oulton Broad, Breydon Water on the other sides, it is 10 miles long, and six miles wide. So it is an island. The name comes probably from Ragnar LOTHBRUK, a great Viking, who on a stormy night in December 868AD was driven up the estuary of Wafenia, or Waveney, meaning troubled waters, and wrecked at Reedham. His sons, Ingu and Ubba came to the East coast with their armies to avenge the death of their father, they took prisoner, and murdered King Edmund,and settled in Lothingland, named after their father..

The Earldom of East Anglia was not divided into Norfolk and Suffolk until after the Conquest. The Sheriff was of both Counties until after Elizabeth 1st. The medieval Diocese of Norwich, covered the whole of East Anglia, but this area was subject to rural dean under the Arch Deacon of Suffolk.

Where does the word "folk" come from? We learn from The Anglo Saxon Chronicle that in 1004 Ulfketill the Earl of East Anglia attacked Sweyn of Denmark at Thetford, "and the flower of East Anglian folc" were killed. The Danes had never met harder fighting.

In the tenth Century parts of England were divided into hundreds. A hundred was a sub-division of a county or shire, having its own court. Lothingland was a half-hundred, and combined in 1764 with the half- hundred of Mutford, for the purpose of ameliorating the condition of the poor, and erecting a house of industry.

The half- hundred of Lothingland consisted of 15 parishes with 5 hamlets with 32 manors, and Lowestoft as the principle market town.


1584 - Threat of invasion In 1584, the Duke of Anjou died, the Prince of Orange was murdered, and there was a threat of a Spanish invasion. Queen Elizabeth 1 ordered a commission to survey the munitions and military defenses of Lothingland, to find the number of able persons, and the possibility of leaders, and their disposition to Her Majesty. There were four commissioners of whom one, Wrote, lived in Lothingland, they found-

Able Men727 men aged 16-60
Armour26 corseletts
  39 Almayse ryvetts
 66 Callivers
 81 Boves
Captaynes1 Mr.Ruthall

Fertility Verie fertile and yieldeth store of corn catall and other victual to maintain itself and help other strength is greater to possession.

John Jernyngham of Somerleyton, a well-housed recusant.
Robert Jeffer an obstinate recusant.
One Robert Baspole of Popish behaviour, charged with hearing Mass.
That this island so to help Yarmouth being a friend or to hurt being an enemy Yarmouth is of small account without it. If the enemy should possess Yarmouth it could not hold out but for one day.

27th June 1584.

Lothingland - Burgh Castle - Garriannonum

For the Burgh Castle picture page, click here

This fort, which lies on the river Waveney, to the south west of Gt.Yarmouth was built in the second half of the third century, when the threat of attack by Saxon pirates increased. To co-ordinate resistance to these attacks a series of strong forts known as the Forts of the Saxon Shore were built. Those at Brancaster, in Norfolk, and Bradwell on Sea in Essex , have left little trace above the ground but the site at Burgh Castle is very fine.

The garrison was a detatchment of the elite Stablesian cavalry from Greece, they had served in Holland and were accustomed to marsh warfare. When built the fort looked over the estuary to Caister-on-Sea. The standing part of the south wall retains all its facing-flints separated by rows of tile bonding-courses and forms a magnificent stretch of Roman Masonry, eight feet thick at the base, and fifteen feet high. The fallen bastion shows a circular socket for anchoring a Roman ballista which hurled stone balls and other weapons on to the attacker. The fort was occupied until the fourth century when Constantine 111 took the troops with him to fight in Europe.

It is mentioned that in 630 AD . Fursey, the Irish monk had settled at Burgh Castle where he formed, by permission of King Sighebert a monastery.

In the 19thCentury, evidence was found of a timber wharf at the foot of a low cliff beside the river.

Now the massive walls are an impressive reminder of the Roman legacy in England.