Blythburgh is a small village on the south side of the River Blyth in east Suffolk, just under 7km from Halesworth. The village lies upstream from the mouth of the river and the coatal settlements of Southwold and Walberswick. The geology of the village consists of sand and gravels and sits at 17m OD in the southwest of the village, sloping down to the river and the one crossing of the River Blyth.
The name Blythburgh means 'stronghold on the River Blyth', taken from the name of the river Blyth that meant 'the gentle or pleasant one' and the Old English word for burh to mean a defended or fortified settlement. The village was recorded in the Domesday Book as Blideburgh and had its origins during the Middle Anglo Saxon period as an important religious centre and one of the richest churches in the county. A Priory was founded here during the 12th century for the Augustinian Canons.
Today the village is bisected by the A12, a major trunk road through the Suffolk and connecting Lowestoft and Ipswich that was originally a turnpike road of 1785. Prior to the Turnpike Act, the main road through the village was from the south, along Angel Lane. The river was once navigable up to Halesworth, due to the Blyth Navigation in 1761, although today, travellers can only reach Blythburgh on a good tide.
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