|Status:||Ceremonial & Non-metropolitan county|
|Region:||East of England|
- Admin. council
- Total (2004 est.)
- Admin. Council
180 / km²
Suffolk County Council
|Members of Parliament|
|Bob Blizzard, John Gummer, Michael Lord, Chris Mole, David Ruffley, Richard Spring, Tim Yeo|
Suffolk (pronounced SUF-f'k) is a large traditional and administrative county in the East Anglia region of eastern England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east. The county town is Ipswich, at and other important towns include Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds. Felixstowe is one of the largest container ports in Europe.
The county is low-lying with few hills, and is largely wetland habitat and arable land with the wetlands of The Broads in the North, and the Suffolk Coast and Heaths is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
In 1974, Suffolk was split into seven administrative districts, Suffolk Coastal, Forest Heath, St. Edmundsbury, Babergh, Forest Heath, Waveney and Mid Suffolk with Suffolk Coastal's council based in Woodbridge, Babergh's in Hadleigh, Mid-Suffolk's in Needham Market, Forest Heath's in Mildenhall and West Suffolk's in Bury St Edmunds. There is also Waveney (with its council based in Lowestoft) and Borough of Ipswich, which is the administrative council controlling the county town.
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Suffolk at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added4||Agriculture1||Industry2||Services3|
Note 1: includes hunting and forestry
Note 2: includes energy and construction
Note 3: includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
Note 4: Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
Much of Suffolk is low-lying on Eocene sand and clays. These rocks are relatively unresistant and on the coast are eroded rapidly. Coastal defences have been used to protect several towns, but several cliff-top houses have been lost to coastal erosion in the past.
The west of the county lies on more resistant Cretaceous Chalk. This chalk is the north-eastern extreme of the Southern England Chalk Formation that stretches from Dorset in the south west to Dover in the south east. The Chalk is less easily eroded so forms the only significant hills in the county. The highest point of the county is Great Wood Hill, the highest point of the Newmarket Ridge, near the village of Rede which reaches 128m (420ft).
The Census 2001 Suffolk recorded a population of 668,548. Between 1981 and 2001 the population of the county grew by 13%, with the district of Mid Suffolk growing fastest at 25%. The population growth is due largely to migration rather than natural increase. There is a very low population between the ages of 15 and 29 as the county has few large towns and institutions of higher education, though the 15-to-29 population in Ipswich is average. There is a larger population over the age of 35, and a larger than average retired population.
Most English counties have nicknames for people from that county, such as a Tyke from Yorkshire and a Yellowbelly from Lincolnshire; the traditional nickname for people from Suffolk is 'Suffolk Fair-Maids', or 'Silly Suffolk', referring respectively to the supposed beauty of its female inhabitants in the Middle Ages, and to the long history of Christianity in the county and its many fine churches (from Anglo-Saxon selige, originally meaning holy).
The agreed upon number of established communities in Suffolk varies greatly because of the large number of the all but non-existent hamlets which may consist of just a single farm and a deconsecrated church: remnants of wealthy communities, some dating back to the early days of the Christian era. Suffolk encompasses one of the most ancient regions of the UK: A monastery in Bury St. Edmunds founded in 630AD, plotting of the Magna Carta in 1215; the oldest documented structural element of a still inhabited dwelling in Britain found in Clare.
This comparatively recent evidence is but a coda to the widespread settlement in the region shown by earlier archaeological evidence of Mesolithic man as far back as c.7000BC, (Grimes Graves, Norfolk - a 5000 y/o flint mine) with Roman settlements Lakenheath, Long Melford, later Bronze and Saxon settlements. Sutton Hoo: burial ground of the Anglo-Saxon pagan kings of East Anglia.
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