Old maps of Southwold and environs

Detail from Owen and Bowen map of Suffolk c1750

1837 Ordnance Survey Map


1907 Ordnance Survey Map

Hilary Huckstep kinkdly lent me some Ordnance Survey maps which I have photographed. The files are quite large but they can be downloaded to give more detail. It is interesting to see the allotments in North Road, what happened to the ones closer to the sea? The ones adjacent to the houses on the north side of North Road are now just overgrown. The rifle range and butts can be seen as well as the hospital at Easton Bavents (in the earlier maps).  It is also interesting to see the length of the pier. Click on the maps to get better resolution files.

1905 Ordnance Survey Map

1925 Ordnance Survey Map (revised 1938)

1928 Ordnance Survey Map

1970 Ordnance Survey Map

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)

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.


From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003

"BINACRE, (or Benacre) a parish in the hundred of Blything, in the county of Suffolk, 6 miles to the S.W. of Lowestoft. Southwold is its post town. It lies near the sea-coast and the East Suffolk section of the Great Eastern railway. In the, parish is a lake called Binacre Broad, which covers an area of 100 acres, and abounds in fish. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Norwich, consolidated with the rectory of Easton-Bavents and the vicarage of North Hales, of the value of £440, and in the patronage of Sir T. S. Gooch, Bart. The church is dedicated to St. Michael. In forming a road here, in 1786, an urn was found with several hundred coins of Vespasian, Trojan, Hadrian, and other Roman emperors. The principal residence is Binacre Hall."


A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) Samuel Lewis (editor)

EASTON-BAVENTS (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union and hundred of Blything, E. division of Suffolk, 1 mile (N. N.E.) from Southwold; containing 11 inhabitants. This place, which is by antiquaries identified with the Extensio of Ptolemy, was formerly the most eastern point of land in the kingdom; but the promontory called Easton Ness has long since been washed away by the sea, which has made great encroachments on this part of the coast; and the church and an ancient chapel, with the greater portion of the parish, have disappeared. A market was granted to Thomas de Bavent, from whom the place takes the affix to its name. The parish now comprises only 300 acres, by measurement; the scenery is in many parts highly picturesque, and on the north side of the parish is a fine sheet of water called Easton Broad. The living is a discharged rectory, consolidated with the rectory of Binacre, and valued in the king's books at £6.


Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5

Benacre or Binacre, a village and a parish in Suffolk, on the coast, 6 miles S by W from Lowestoft station on the G.E.R., and 6 1/2 N from Southwold. Post town, Wang-ford; money order and telegraph office, Wrentham. Acreage, 2560; population of the civil parish, 204; of the ecclesiastical, which includes Covehithe and Easton Bavents, 384. Benacre Hall is a fine country seat situated in a park of 230 acres. A lake of about 100 acres, called Benacre Broad, abounding in pike and other fish, lies about 1/2 a mile from the sea. A stone vessel, containing about 900 Roman silver coins, some of them of the Emperor Vespasian, was found at the making of a new turnpike road in 1786. The living is a rectory, united with the rectory of Easton-Bavents and the vicarage of Covehithe, formerly called North Hales, in the diocese of Norwich; joint net yearly value, £200 with residence. The church, dedicated to St Michael, was rebuilt in 1769. It is in good preservation, and consists of chancel, nave, and a south aisle. Easton-Bavents, now a parish consisting of a few cottages only, with a population of 18, is said to have been formerly a large market-town, and to have lost its prosperity through the encroachments of the sea.


Mick Thompson lent me some interesting details of an auction dated 1919.  Click on map below for a PDF.