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‘Land and Shore’ Project

A journey to discover lost communities

An exciting heritage and creative arts project recently launched across East Suffolk, offering residents the opportunity to become involved in the Lowestoft, Dunwich and Ipswich areas (watch the launch video here).

‘Land and Shore’ was designed by Suffolk Record Office and the Voice cLoud and will explore the stories of three lost communities across east Suffolk:

  • THE BEACH VILLAGE, LOWESTOFT – once home to a thriving fishing community in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries of nearly 3000 people living in just 500 houses and cottages, many working in the fishing industry.
  • DUNWICH – once an international port and centre for the shipping trade, devastated by great storms in the 13th and 14th centuries which redefined the coastline and saw the sea go on to claim most of the town, including several churches.
  • ALTON WATER – a valley near the village of Tattingstone in the Shotley Peninsula; which at one time included Alton water mill and Alton Hall, was flooded during the 1970s and ‘80s to provide the area with water.

‘Land and Shore’ will use printed local studies books and archive sources, including maps, photographs, diaries, oral histories, news cuttings and ephemera available at Suffolk Record Office, with a view to promoting engagement with Suffolk’s heritage and to bring to life this important history for new audiences.  Participants will explore and research their location, supported by a variety of history and multi-arts professionals, to recreate the stories of these ‘lost communities’ in a fun and innovative way using drama and music shared through performance.  No experience is necessary, and anybody is welcome to participate.

After successful taster days in each location, we now have research groups set up in each location, who are delving into the archives to discover stories about the people and places, of these lost communities, hidden by time.

To find out more and get involved with either the research, creativity or sharing please email:

The Voice cLoud is an arts and music organisation who use the role of the creative arts to promote heritage and culture and to explore the positive impact of music and the arts on health and wellbeing. Working with participants for each lost community, they will identify resources and archives which can be used to help these stories reach wider communities and new audiences.

‘Land and Shore’ is a ‘Sharing Suffolk Stories’ project and part of a countywide Activity Plan for ‘The Hold – A Suffolk Archives Service for the 21st Century’.  The Hold is a partnership between Suffolk County Council and the University of Suffolk, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.