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MARKET TOWNS OF SUFFOLK (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Blythburgh in 1842

Blythburgh is in Blything hundred, on the south bank of the river Blyth, 30 miles north-east of Ipswich. The area of the parish is 3,590 acres : the population in 1831 was 579, almost entirely agricultural. It is a place of great antiquity ; and Anna, King of the East Angles, who fell in battle against Penda of Mercia, in the time of the Heptarchy, is said to have been buried here. It was in the middle ages an important fishing and trading town. Sessions for the division were held here, and there was a gaol, of which some portions remained to the middle of the last century.

The church has been a very fine building, highly ornamented both within and without : the architecture is of perpendicular character ; but the tracery and other parts have been much defaced. The length of it is 127 feet, the width above 54 feet. There are some remains of painted glass in the windows, and there are some monuments, one of which is pointed out, but erroneously, as that of Anna, the East Anglian king, and another as that of his son, who fell in the same battle. There are some remains of a priory for the canons of St. Augustin ; this priory was a dependency of the abbey of St. Osyth in Essex ; its yearly revenues at the dissolution were £48, 8 shillings and 10 pence. There are some remains of another religious house. The suppression of the religious houses, and a great fire in 1676 are supposed to have led to the decay of the town.