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Felixstowe

Photo from Felixstowe

Where pubs have been renamed, we usually list only the most recent known name here. Other names can be found in the Pub list tab. (For closed pubs which only traded for a short time under a newer name, we generally list them under the longer-established name)


Closed brewery (post-1970)


Useful links


Felixstowe in Domesday

Population (2011) of Felixstowe: 23 689.


Local licensing authority for Felixstowe is Suffolk Coastal.

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About Felixstowe

Felixstowe is Suffolk's most southerly parish, containing the county's most southerly pub (The Dolphin). Daniel Defoe was of the opinion that Felixstowe was far enough south that it should be considered to be in Essex.

This town is mainly a modern residential settlement, which contains an Edwardian coastal holiday resort alongside the largest container port in the country. The parish of Walton (merged in 1895) retains a Victorian high street to the west of the main settlement whilst Felixstowe Ferry is a small separate hamlet about 2Km to north-east on the Deben estuary. The pier (redeveloped in 2017) dates from 1904 whilst the promenade was built in 1902.

A notable Edwardian feature was "Felixstowe Spa" located at the foot of Hamilton cliffs, with a natural spring and pump room. Walton Castle once stood in Felixstowe parish on high cliffs about a mile south of the early village. Its western foundations were about 187 yards in length but mostly washed away by about 1740. The same site is believed to have also been used by the Romans.

Also close to the modern container port is Languard Fort, which was originally built to defend Harwich in 1540 and was rebuilt in 1875 to help defend the coastline from French invasion. Today the fort is both a museum and an occasional arts venue and is well worth a visit, as is the nearby Landguard Point where you can enjoy a stunning view of the coastal estuary and modern docks.

The mouths of both rivers Orwell and Deben still suffer from shifting sands in stormy winters and require regular dredging.

The container port is partly built on the former First World War flying station. RAF Felixstowe was active as an air station for nearly 50 years, but little now remains of this historic base. From August 1913, early flying was dominated by seaplanes. After a busy decade of operations and the building of three hangers, from March 1924 the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) was based here for the trialling of all UK seaplanes and flying boats including both the 1929 & 1931 Schneider Trophy winners. (NB: On Sunday 13th September 1931 Flt. Lt J N Bootham (RAF) in a Southampton-built Supermarine S6B seaplane averaged 340.08mph around a 217-mile circuit over the Solent to win the Schneider Trophy outright for Great Britain).

For a while T.E.Laurence (of First World War Arabia fame) was also based at RAF Felixstowe as an engineer, before his sudden death in March 1935. The MAEE moved to Scotland during the Second World War and the balloon barrage around nearby Harwich virtually precluded most flying except for the maintenance of some massive Short's Sunderlands and various Supermarine Walruses (used for air-sea rescue). From 1945 until March 1956 the MAEE returned until the base closed. Air-sea rescue also continued with Whirlwind helicopters based at Felixstowe until May 1961.

Wallace Simpson was a guest in the town for several months in 1936 until her decree nisi was granted in Ipswich court, which cleared the legalities for her subsequent marriage to Edward Windsor (and which subsequently caused his abdication). Sadly the house that she stayed in has since been demolished.

Acknowledgements

Some details from "Suffolk Airfields in WW2" by Graham Smith.