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Leiston, Suffolk

Historical Description

Leiston, a small town and a parish in Suffolk. The town stands on a branch of the G.E.R. from Saxmundham to Aid- ( borough, on which it has a station, 2 miles from the coast, 4 ESE from Saxmundham, 4 NNW from Aldborough, and 93 from London. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office (R.S.O.) Acreage of parish, 4987; population, 2616. There are extensive agricultural implement and steam boiler-works, founded in 1788, and employing a large number of hands. Leiston Old Abbey, the seat of the Rose family, is a mansion surrounded by a well-timbered park 1600 acres. The Cupola and Sizewell Houses are also chief residences. Sizewell is a hamlet of the parish, close to the sea-shore. Sizewell Gap has a few marine villa residences, and coastguard and lifeboat stations. A Premonstratensian canonry was founded on the coast section in 1182 by Ralph de Glan-ville; was rebuilt on a site about a mile farther from the sea, and about half a mile from the town, in 1363, by Robert de Ufford, Earl of Suffolk; was destroyed by fire before 1389, and rebuilt in that year; had a church 168 feet long; was given at the dissolution to the Duke of Suffolk; and is now represented by massive ivy-clad walls, two lofty Pointed windows, and half-enclosed underground cells. A modern farmhouse stands among the ruins, and a flower garden occupies the inner area. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Norwich; gross yearly value, £335. Patrons, Christ's Hospital and the Haberdashers' Company alternately. The church, which stands about a quarter of a mile W of the town, was originally an ancient building in the Early English style. The present church, which stands on the old site, is a building of flint in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave, transepts, north and south porches, and an embattled western tower. There is a mission chapel, with a schoolroom at Cold Fair Green, and there are in the town Congregational, Free Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels, and a Friends' meetinghouse. There is a charity worth about £37 a year, derived from a farm left in 1721 for the use of poor widows and children belonging to this parish

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


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountySuffolk 
Ecclesiastical parishLeiston St. Margaret 
Poor Law unionBlything 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Leiston from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Suffolk is available to browse.


Online maps of Leiston are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Suffolk papers online:

DistrictSuffolk Coastal
Postal districtIP16
Post TownLeiston