Known to some as 'Britains lost city' Dunwich was once a booming port town before the sea claimed much of the land. Today only a few houses, a leper chapel and a friary remain and many believe they hold ghosts and stories from years gone by...
In the Anglo-Saxon period, Dunwich was the capital of the Kingdom of the East Angles, but the harbour and most of the town have since disappeared due to coastal erosion. At its height it was an international port similar in size to 14th century London. Its decline began in 1286 when a storm surge hit the East Anglian coast followed by a great storm in 1287 and another great storm also in 1287, and it was eventually shrank to the village it is today. Dunwich is possibly connected with the lost Anglo-Saxon placename Dommoc.
The population of the civil parish at the 2001 census was 84, which increased to 183 according to the 2011 Census, though the area used by the Office of National Statistics for 2011 also includes part of the civil parish of Westleton. There is no parish council; instead there is a parish meeting
The "Dark Heart of Dunwich" is piece of a Suffolk folklore, the origins of which appear to lie in the 12th century. The legend tells of how Eva, a Dunwich maiden due to be married to the son of a local landowner, fell instead for a good-looking local cad, who had sex with her and then deserted her, running off to sea. After waiting in vain for her lost love to return, she cut out her heart and hurled it into the sea. However, according to the legend, she was unable to die, and still haunts the area, particularly around the constantly shifting beach. The heart itself, believed to be similar in appearance to a wooden heart, is believed to wash up occasionally, and bring great misfortune onto anyone who picks it up and keeps it