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THE HAMLET THAT FELL INTO THE SEA        6-29-2016                                                                        

Once part of the old city of Dunwich, a thriving medieval port, with ship building and a trade center, nearly all of it has fallen into the sea. At its height it was comparable to 14th century London. In 1286 a series of huge storms and coastal erosion began its destruction. The storm of 1346 swept 400 houses into the sea. Local legend says that sometimes church bells can still be heard beneath the waves, from churches swept away.

 

With a current population of 183 (2011 Census), Dunwich is now a village, but until the Reform Act of 1832, it still had the right to send two members to Parliament. It was known as one of Britain's most notorious “rotten boroughs.”

 

Dunwich also buried a number of bodies washed ashore. Most were never identified. There were three during World War II and the last one was in 1958.

 

A 12th century folk story says a maiden, who was left pregnant by a cad, cut out her heart and threw it into the sea. Unable to die, she is said to haunt the beach. The heart appears at times and brings bad luck to anyone who picks it up and keeps it.

This little street is all that is left of the thriving former township.