Suffolk is just one of many of England’s ceremonial counties, and you’ll find it down toward the southeast of the country. More than 750,000 people live here, and it’s known to many as the “curious county.” It’s fairly dry land, on the whole – but many people retire here for the lovely coastline and quaint towns. Here are some fun facts about Suffolk that might impress you.
1. The most easterly point in Britain is in Suffolk.
The town of Lowestoft in Suffolk will forever have a place in history books as the last place you’ll find in the UK heading east. Specifically, its famous Ness Point lets people watch the sunrise before anyone else in the country. It’s also home to the biggest wind turbine in the UK.
2. Britain’s “Roswell Incident” took place in Suffolk.
The UK has its fair share of UFO sightings, but many claim Suffolk’s Rendlesham Forest Incident to be on par with the US’ own Roswell controversy. It’s thought that several sightings of unexplained lights in the sky took place in December 1980 around the Rendlesham Forest area – debunked by many in the modern age, but referred to for decades as “Britain’s Roswell.”
3. Suffolk’s been home to painters and pop stars.
Suffolk has produced some of the most famous entertainers and cultural trailblazers in the world. For example, painters Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable were both born in the county, as was legendary TV cook Delia Smith, author George Orwell, and a singer-songwriter you might have heard of called Ed Sheeran. Ring any bells?
4. Suffolk bricks may have been used to help build the White House.
Woolpit, close to Stowmarket in Suffolk, was one of the world’s largest producers of white bricks. So much so, that for centuries, bricks made in the village were exported worldwide – to the extent some believe bricks from Woolpit were used to help build the first White House in Washington!
5. Suffolk might also be the birthplace of an early US flag.
Believe it or not, the town of Sudbury, also in Suffolk, holds an additional American claim to fame – in that one of the first stars and stripes flags was made to order from Sudbury material in 1814. The flag-maker in question was Mary Pickersgill, who used bunting shipped from Suffolk to the US to create the first flag.
6. Suffolk is home to many different tourist attractions and popular sights.
Suffolk has four piers, two heritage castles, and is home to at least seven National Trust attractions – making it one of the most attraction-rich counties for people to visit in the south of England. Its coastline is celebrated, too, with a handful of Blue Flag awards, which recognize clean, well-protected beaches.
7. Suffolk’s coastline is gorgeous, but many worry that it might be haunted.
For all the Suffolk coastline appeals to vacationers and retirees, there are lots of ghost stories regarding who or what might be haunting the various sandy strolls. In fact, one of the most famous specters roaming the sands is said to be that of the infamous Black Shuck – the ghost of a dog from centuries past.
8. Charles Dickens reportedly based Ebeneezer Scrooge on a Suffolk local!
If you thought the ghastly penny-pinching villain from “A Christmas Carol,” Ebeneezer Scrooge, was purely a work of fiction, think again. Author Charles Dickens allegedly based Scrooge on John Elwes, whose family had ties to Stoke College in the 17th century. Could anybody really be that mean…?
FAQs about Suffolk
What is Suffolk best known for?
Suffolk is well-known for its coastline, its quaint villages, and its protected nature reserves. It’s a great vacation spot for anyone keen to explore some of England’s famously gorgeous greenery.
What is the main town in Suffolk?
The county town of Suffolk is historically Ipswich, which is said to have links to the Vikings and is one of the oldest settlements of its kind in the UK.
What is a person from Suffolk called?
There doesn’t appear to be an official term for someone born or from Suffolk, but the colloquial phrase “Suffolker” seems to have gained popularity over the years – you’re probably better off asking someone from Suffolk what they prefer!
Do you know any interesting facts about Suffolk? Share them in the comments below!