History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
It could be said that the best days of Beccles were over a thousand years ago, when this market town was a prosperous Saxon port, but that would be terribly unkind, for Beccles has a lot to offer a modern visitor. The town lies at the southernmost extremity of the Norfolk Broads, though the town itself is across the county border in Suffolk.
Beccles suffered from extensive fires in the 16th and 17th centuries, and much of the oldest parts of the town were destroyed. As a result, most of what can be seen today dates from the Georgian period and later. An exception to this is the Tudor manor of Rose Hall (alternately spelled "Roos" Hall).
The parish church of St Michael's is a lovely building, with a humorous legend. The quick-witted visitor (this means you!) will notice that the church tower has clock faces on only three sides. Local legend has it that the west side, facing Norfolk, was intentionally left blank because the inhabitants of Beccles did not want to give the time for free to their neighbours in Norfolk!
We know that there was a settlement at Beccles at least as early as the year 960, when King Edwy granted it to the Monastery of St Edmundsbury. By the time of the Domesday survey (1086), the Abbot of St Edmundsbury paid a rent of 60,000 herrings to the crown, emphasizing the rich fishing to be had in the region. At that time the holding of Beccles stretched to only 10 acres, but by 1391 over 1400 acres had been reclaimed from the surrounding marshlands through a gradual program of drainage.
Beccles hosts an annual regatta on the first weekend of August.
Address: Beccles, East Anglia, Suffolk, England
Attraction Type: Town
Photo Credit: Dr Neil Clifton, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
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