Dunwich was recorded in Domesday as "Duneuuic". Coastal erosion means that the majority of this Saxon settlement, which was once a prosperous sea port with up to nine churches, is now almost totally lost. A market was established here in C9th but the towns decline really started in C13th after the Great Storm of 1286 when many merchants left and the town stagnated. Another big storm in 1328 meant that by about 1350 over 400 houses and the harbour had been lost to the sea.
An ancient tunnel is said to run from the Ship Inn to the now ruined Greyfriars' Monastery.
By the early C19th it had become a classic "rotten borough", still returning two Members to Parliament despite having a population of barely 20, and was disenfranchised after electoral reform in 1832. Today it is best known for the local fish and chip cabin set close to the low sand cliffs.
Estimated population (2009) of Dunwich: 70
Local licensing authority for Dunwich is Suffolk Coastal