Lowestoft: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 52°29′N 1°45′E / 52.48°N 1.75°E / 52.48; 1.75

Lowestoft Town Hall
Lowestoft is located in Suffolk

 Lowestoft shown within Suffolk
OS grid reference TM548933
District Waveney
Shire county Suffolk
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district NR32, NR33
Dialling code 01502
Police Suffolk
Fire Suffolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Waveney
List of places: UK • England • Suffolk

Lowestoft (English pronunciation: /ˈloʊstɒft/, /ˈloʊstəf/, or /ˈloʊ.əstəft/) is a town in the county of Suffolk, England, lying between The Broads. Lowestoft Harbour heads towards North Sea. Lowestoft is the most easterly town in the United Kingdom, being home to Ness Point, the most easterly point of the United Kingdom and of the British Isles.


Places of interest

Historic High Street
Ness Point
Mincarlo, Lowestoft
  • New Entertainment Complex, consisting of; Curling, Bar, Ice Skating, Hotel, Ice Hockey. It was well planned by 1st east regeneration is to be built on the old disused Lowestoft Ice CO warehouse on Battery Green Road.[1]
  • Ness Point, the most easterly location in the United Kingdom, is located in the town close to the wind turbine. At the most easterly point is a large compass rose set in the ground which gives the direction and distance to various cities in Europe.
  • Town Centre, consisting of
    • The Britten Centre
    • The Britten Market
    • Station Square
    • London Road North
    • Suffolk Road
    • Bevan Street
    • Historic High Street
    • The Triangle Market
    • Eastern Sails.
  • Belle Vue Park has the Royal Naval Patrol Service memorial.
  • Two beaches: Lowestoft beach, (the north part of which is known locally as Victoria Beach) and Pakefield Beach, Pakefield.
  • Norfolk Broads, the most visited area. Motorboats can be hired to travel on the broads, however tours are also available. Powerboat racing also occurs every Thursday throughout the summer, hosting local boats and occasionally a round of a national or international championship throughout classes of powerboat.
  • Sparrows Nest Gardens has one Fountain in the middle of a pond as a water feature.
  • Mincarlo is the last surviving sidewinder fishing trawler of the Lowestoft fishing fleet and can be visited at Lowestoft Harbour.


Lowestoft is Suffolk's second largest town[2] (second to Ipswich). The town contains a variety of business and residential areas, with the main shopping centre lying just to the north and the award-winning Blue Flag beaches[3] to the south.

Excelsior, Lowestoft

The one main pier in Lowestoft is The South Pier situated on Lowestoft Harbour.[4]. The other pier is called the Claremont Pier, which originally served as a port of call for steamers travelling to and from London.[5] The Claremont Pier structure itself has been closed for many years, is now in a state of disrepair and not open to the public, though the building at the land end is still in use.

Lowestoft railway station is centrally placed within the town, within walking distance of the beach, and provides services to Ipswich on the East Suffolk Line. Many services also continue to Ipswich along the main line from London Liverpool Street. Services also run to Norwich along the Wherry Line.[6] All services are operated by National Express East Anglia.



Borough of Lowestoft:




The settlement's name is derived from the Viking personal name Hlothver, and toft,[7] a Viking word for 'homestead'. The town's name has been spelled variously: Lothnwistoft, Lestoffe, Laistoe, Loystoft and Laystoft. In the Domesday Book, it was spelled Lothu Wistoft[7] and described as a small agricultural village of 20 families, or about 100 people.

In the Middle Ages, Lowestoft developed into a fishing harbour[citation needed], a trade that continued to be its main identity until the 20th century.

In the 1665, the first battle of the Second Dutch War was the Battle of Lowestoft 40 miles (64 km) off the coast of the town[citation needed].

In the 19th century, the arrival of Sir Samuel Morton Peto brought about a change in Lowestoft's fortunes. Railway contractor Peto built a rail link between Lowestoft and Ipswich. After that Peto helped development of Lowestoft Harbour he provided mooring for 1,000 small boats.

The major development of Lowestoft Harbour including the building of the docks was carried out from 1848 by the Eastern Counties Railway, and continued from 1862 by the Great Eastern Railway with Peto having no input to this work. Upon completion, the improvements gave a boost to trade with the continent. Peto helped to establish Lowestoft as a flourishing seaside holiday resort by connecting several other parish's still keeping there name which know are apart of Lowestoft. However, some of the buildings associated with him have now been demolished.

In World War I, Lowestoft was bombarded by the German Navy on 24 April 1916.

During the World War II, the town was used as a navigation point by German bombers[citation needed]. As a result it became the most heavily bombed town per head of population in the UK.[citation needed] Old mines and bombs are still dredged up and have been hazardous to shipping.

Lowestoft's Yacht Basin in 1929
Lowestoft's Yacht Basin in 1929.

Lowestoft has been subject to periodic flooding; the most notable was in January 1953 when a North Sea swell driven by low pressure and a high tide swept away many of the older sea defences and deluged most of the southern town.

Until the mid-1960s, fishing was perceived as Lowestoft's main industry, although from the 1930s the percentage of those employed directly and in trades associated with fishing was actually only around 10% of the working population[citation needed]. Fleets comprised drifters and trawlers, with the drifters primarily targeting herring while the trawlers caught cod, plaice, skate and haddock. By the mid 1960s, the catches were greatly diminishing, particularly the herring. Consequently the drifter fleet disappeared and many of the trawlers were adapted to work as service ships for the new North Sea oil rigs. The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), a large fisheries research centre, which is a part of Defra is still located in Lowestoft.

The Eastern Coach Works was another big employer and in the 1960s it was a regular occurrence to see a bare bus chassis being driven through the town to the coach works by a goggled driver. Installing the bus's superstructure, body work and seats was the job of Eastern Coach Works. Both double decker and single decker buses were built there and sent all over the country.

Brooke Marine and Richards shipbuilding companies, who together employed over a thousand men, went out of business in 1990. In order to carry on the skills and traditions of the threatened shipbuilding trade, the International Boatbuilding Training College [1] was formed in 1975 and has been largely successful at producing graduates who carry on the legacy of Lowestoft shipwrights.

From the late 1960s to the late 1990s, the oil and gas industry provided significant employment (if often seasonal and erratic) in the Lowestoft area. For many years the Shell Southern Operations base on the north shore of Lowestoft Harbour was one of the town's largest employers. A decision to close the Shell base was finally made in 2003.[8]

Lowestoft porcelain

During the second half of the 18th century a factory in Crown Street produced soft-paste porcelain ware. Items still exist, and there are collections at the museum in Nicholas Everett Park, Oulton Broad, and at the Castle Museum, Norwich. The factory produced experimental wares in 1756 and first advertised their porcelain in 1760.

Lowestoft collectors divide the factory's products into three distinct periods, Early Lowestoft circa 1756 to 1761, Middle-Period circa 1761 to 1768 and Late-Period circa 1768 to the closure of the factory in 1799.

During the early period wares decorated with Chinese-inspired scenes (Chinoiserie) in underglaze blue were produced. This type of decoration continued throughout the life of the factory but scenes were gradually simplified. Overglaze colours were used from about 1765.

Much of the small factory building remains, home for many years to a manufacturers of artists' brushes.

Lowestoft Seafront Air Show

For two days each year, Lowestoft's South Beach plays host to the Seafront Air Festival. Since its first opening in 1996, the event has gained much popularity and media attention.[citation needed]

In 2002, a Royal Air Force Harrier plane crashed into the sea during the festival.[9] An RAF board of inquiry later established that the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Cann, had accidentally operated the controls for throttle and nozzle direction lever at the same time, causing it to drop sharply. Cann ejected as the aircraft dropped, via the ejector seat to rise safely above the crashed plane. He then descended safely by parachute until he struck the sinking plane and fractured his ankle.[10] People in the sea were swiftly evacuated, and the Lowestoft Lifeboat was quickly on hand to take the pilot from the sea to the harbour where he was winched to the SAR Helicopter from RAF Wattisham and flown to James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth.[11] The recovery of the aircraft was watched by hundreds as it was winched out of the North Sea several days later.

Future performances were thought to be under threat with the cessation of the main sponsorship by the Birds Eye frozen food company, but the show is administratively underwritten by the Waveney district council until 2010[citation needed] and new main sponsors are currently being sought by the management committee. In 2006 only £62,000 was raised in donations from the estimated 420,000 spectators, but in 2007 donations of £59,000 from the reduced crowd of 270,000 (due to poor weather on the first day) is considered a positive step towards the future of the show, as is the new link forged with the Honda Powerboat Grand Prix which was held on the two days following the air show.

Renewable energy

A large wind turbine, named Gulliver, was built in December 2004 and is located near Ness Point. It was the first commercial wind turbine in Suffolk and the largest wind turbine in Britain[12]. The site is also home to OrbisEnergy, a state-of-the-art building intended to attract business in the green energy sector to the town[13]. In April 2009, Associated British Ports announced that the Lowestoft Harbour is to become the operations centre for the 500 megawatt Greater Gabbard Offshore Windfarm which, when completed, will be the world’s largest offshore windfarm. The turbines will be located 15 miles off the Suffolk coast, and Lowestoft’s Outer Harbour is to be used to house the necessary operational support facilities.

Lowestoft is also bidding for to be the operational base for the proposed 5,000 megawatt 'Zone 5' wind farm, planned for construction 25 km off-shore from the town.[14]

Connections to arts

The Elizabethan pamphleteer Thomas Nashe, one of the fathers of modern journalism and a primary source for the literary milieux of William Shakespeare, was born in Lowestoft in 1567.

The children's author and illustrator Michael Foreman was born in 1938, and spent his childhood years in Pakefield where his mother kept the grocers shop in Pakefield. He went to Pakefield Primary School, and played on Hilly Green - stories of which are recorded in his book War Boy.

In the 1840s, Charles Dickens came to stay with Sir Samuel Morton Peto. Lowestoft's Beach Village, along with Blundeston village, became the inspiration for David Copperfield.

The 19th-century writer and traveller George Borrow lived in Oulton Broad for many years and wrote most of his books there. Joseph Conrad came from his native Poland to live in Lowestoft in 1878. Edward Fitzgerald, the translator of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, lived in Lowestoft. W.G. Sebald, who taught at the University of East Anglia and was tragically killed in 2001, wrote about Lowestoft in The Rings of Saturn.

The composer Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft in 1913. In 1933 he returned to Suffolk to establish a Festival, it was not to Lowestoft, for which he had little regard but to Aldeburgh. The Benjamin Britten High School and The Britten Centre are named after the composer.

Connections to Lowestoft

Town twinning


  1. ^ 1st East Regeneration. 1st East. Retrieved 2010
  2. ^ Response to the Draft RES by the Lowestoft & Waveney Chamber of Commerce. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  3. ^ "Blue Flag and Quality Coast Award Winners 2009". ENCAMS. 2009. pp. 2. http://www.encams.org/publications/award09.pdf. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  4. ^ Suffolk - Piers & Ports: Lowestoft South Pier. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  5. ^ Suffolk - Piers & Ports: Lowestoft Claremont Pier. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  6. ^ The Wherry Lines
  7. ^ a b Mills, A.D. (1998). A Dictionary of English Place-names. Second Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford. p227. ISBN 0-19-280074-4
  8. ^ Talks over Shell shutdown. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  9. ^ Air show Harrier crashes into sea. 2 August 2002. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  10. ^ Pilot error caused Harrier crash. 18 December 2003. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  11. ^ RAF harrier pluges into sea near bathers. Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  12. ^ "Waveney District Council - Ness Point Turbine". http://www.waveney.gov.uk/Environment/turbine.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  13. ^ "OrbisEnergy Website". http://www.orbisenergy.net/. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  14. ^ "Lowestoft aims to lure windfarm builders". Lowestoft Journal. 2009-11-14. http://www.lowestoftjournal.co.uk/content/lowestoftjournal/news/story.aspx?brand=LOWOnline&category=NEWS&tBrand=LOWOnline&tCategory=News&itemid=NOED14%20Nov%202009%2009%3A03%3A55%3A537. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Lowestoft is a coastal town in Suffolk, UK.


Once a bustling fishing port, Lowestoft is now a small quiet town on the east coast of Britain.

Get in

By Road

If coming from the south, the A12 London-Great Yarmouth road passes right through the town. Note that past Ipswich much of the road is single-carriageway and can become congested during summer holidays and weekends so allow 3-4 hours driving time from London. A- and B-roads link Lowestoft to most other locations in Suffolk and Norfolk.

By Train

Lowestoft Station is located right in the centre of town and is the terminus of 2 lines. Services to Norwich run every hour and take around 30-45 minutes. There is also a service every 2 hours to Ipswich (on Monday-Saturday most services continue to London Liverpool Street) which stops everywhere and takes around 90 minutes to reach Ipswich. If coming from London it's faster and more convenient to go to Norwich and then take a connecting Lowestoft service. The station has a ticket office although it's opening hours are sporadic, and tickets can be purchased from the conductor after boarding the train.

By Bus

All buses terminate at the town-centre bus station. There's no direct service to Ipswich and the most useful bus is the hourly express coach from Peterborough via Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Note that getting to Great Yarmouth by train is very indirect and requires a change at Norwich so it's much quicker to take the bus.


The wind turbine - the largest in Europe!

Ness point - The most easterly point in Britain, and a signpost noting distances to various major British and international cities.


Lowestoft has one of the finest sandy beaches in the East of England and is a regular winner of the 'Blue Flag' award. The annual air show bring in visitors from all over the region and the town has a festival atmosphere for the two days of the show. Entry to the beach (where the flying takes place and the stalls are set up) is free but a donation to keep the festival running is appreciated.

As well as being a gateway to the Norfolk Broads (via Nicholas Everitt park in Outlon Broad) Lowestoft also has several well-kept areas of park land catering for all needs, Sparrows nest for relaxing, Nicholas Everitt for boating (including powerboat racing) and walking, Normanston Park is very good for football and tennis and Kensington Gardens has tennis courts, a boating lake and a bowls green.

Lowestoft also has Pleasurewood Hills a small family-friendly theme park, Africa Alive (an impressive zoo for its size), Somerleyton Hall complete with Maze, Fritton Lakes, the quintessential town of Southwold (with its award winning pier) and Great Yarmouth all within a simple bus journey from the town.


The seafront areas of Lowestoft are packed with b+b's and contains two large hotels, booking is recommended during the school holidays especially during the air festival and prices tend to range from £25-£90 per night. There is a Premier Inn and Travelodge on the edge of town (head North on the A12 towards Great Yarmouth) and the surrounding area contains plenty of campsites with varying levels of facilities.

  • D.G. Hayden Chemists Ltd., 0830 - 2230 / 7 Days. High Street, Lowestoft. Call 01502 580 002 for more info.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LOWESTOFT, a municipal borough, seaport and wateringplace in the Lowestoft parliamentary division of Suffolk, England, 1172 m. N.E. from London by the Great Eastern railway. Pop. (1901) 29,850. It lies on either side of the formerly natural, now artificial outlet of the river Waveney to the North Sea, while to the west the river forms Oulton Broad and Lothing Lake. The northern bank is the original site. South Lowestoft arose on the completion of harbour improvements, begun in 1844, when the outlet of the Waveney, reopened in 1827, was deepened. The old town is picturesquely situated on a lofty declivity, which includes the most easterly point of land in England. The church of St Margaret is Decorated and Perpendicular. South Lowestoft has a fine esplanade, a park (Bellevue) and other adjuncts of a watering-place. Bathing facilities are good. There are two piers enclosing a harbour with a total area of 48 acres, having a depth of about 16 ft. at high tide. The fisheries are important and some 600 smacks belong to the port. Industries include ship and boat building and fitting, and motor engineering. The town is governed by a mayor, 8 aldermen and 24 councillors. Area 2178 acres.

Lowestoft (Lothu Wistoft, Lowistoft, Loistoft) owes its origin to its fisheries. In 1086 it was a hamlet in the demesne of the royal manor of Lothingland. The men of Lowestoft as tenants on ancient demesne of the crown possessed many privileges, but had no definite burghal rights until 1885. For several centuries before 1740 the fisheries were the cause of constant dispute between Lowestoft and Yarmouth. During the last half of the 18th century the manufacture of china flourished in the town. A weekly market on Wednesdays was granted to John, earl of Richmond, in 1308 together with an eight days' fair beginning on the vigil of St Margaret's day, and in 1445 John de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, one of his successors as lord of the manor, received a further grant of the same market and also two yearly fairs, one on the feast of St Philip and St James and the other at Michaelmas. The market is still held on Wednesdays, and in 1792 the Michaelmas fair and another on May-day were in existence. Now two yearly fairs for small wares are held on the 13th of May and the 11th of October. In 1643 Cromwell performed one of his earlier exploits in taking Lowestoft, capturing large supplies and making prisoners of several influential royalists. In the war of 1665 the Dutch under Admiral Opdam were defeated off Lowestoft by the English fleet commanded by the duke of York.

See Victoria County History, Suffolk; E. Gillingwater, An Historical Account of the Town of Lowestoft (ed. 1790).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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Proper noun


  1. A town in Suffolk, England

Derived terms

  • Lowestoft Ness

Simple English

Lowestoft is a town in Suffolk.

Template:Places in Suffolk


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