Kessingland

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Coordinates: 52°25′08″N 1°43′23″E / 52.419°N 1.723°E / 52.419; 1.723

Kessingland is a large village in the Waveney District in Suffolk, over 3 miles (7 km) south of Lowestoft. It is of interest to archaeologists as Palaeolithic and Neolithic implements have been found here; the remains of an ancient forest lie buried on the seabed[citation needed]

There has been a settlement here since Palaeolithic times. Between the Hundred River and Latmer Dam was once a large estuary which was used by the Vikings and Romans. The sea provided the village with its main livelihood, and at one time the village paid a rent of 22,000 herrings to their Lords, which then made it more important than nearby Lowestoft.

The village comprised two separate communities: the "beach" and the "street" and it was not until the 1960s that more housing united the village into a single community. The population is little over 4,000 - though this can double due to the holiday-makers in the many chalets and holiday villages in the area.

The Suffolk Coast and Heaths area was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1970 and the Suffolk Coasts and Heath Project runs many conservation projects.

The church - St Edmund's - is one of the finest in the region, with an imposing 300-foot (91 m) tower than can be used as a beacon by ships out at sea.

Local attractions

In addition to the numerous holiday villages and the beach, Kessingland is home to Africa Alive, an African themed wildlife park.

Famous residents

Sir H. Rider Haggard, novelist, was born in Bradenham, and later in his life spent his summers at Kessingland in a cliff-top house called the Grange (now demolished). He was visited here by his friend Rudyard Kipling. To counter the force of the North Sea and the winds off it, he sloped the cliff on the edge of his property and experimented with growing Marram Grass upon it. The experiment proved a success, and the slope increased in height rather than decreased. He spent the rest of the year at Ditchingham some 16 miles (26 km) to the west. In 1928 Kessingland Grange was sold to a Mr Catchpole who established a holiday camp in the grounds, and subsequently demolished the Grange. The current Kessingland Cottages development was begun in 1979. John MacDonald the international travel writer also lives in the village (2009).

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