Throughout my life I have been fortunate enough to regularly stay at Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. It is a village that has inspired many paintings and poems and is one of the key locations in ‘The Girl from Brittia’. Edlin, the Girl from Brittia, was very likely from Suffolk, but placing her at Dunwich is simply my way of realising a long-held ambition to set a novel there. This story is set in the sixth century in a Dunwich (Dunmoc) that had not yet seen its heyday or its decline.
Dunwich Museum – learn about the lost city here!
I recently made my first visit to Dunwich since the completion of ‘The Girl from Brittia’ and it was a fascinating experience walking around the village and imagining how different things were for Edlin and how they have remained the same.
No huts now! Dunwich today.
Wilhelm’s fictional burial place has long since crumbled into the sea, but the sandy cliffs are still there. The views of the grey sea from Dunwich beach are not so different for us as they were for Edlin – particularly on a hazy day when Sizewell Nuclear Powerstation is obscured!
You can still walk in the woods nearby, just as Edlin and Radigis do.
The great harbour that Edlin rowed from was destroyed in medieval times, but fishing boats still go from this coast and you can enjoy the freshly caught fish just as Edlin did.
Although you can enjoy yours with chips at Dunwich Beach cafe!
Edlin’s staple drink was the local ale. You too can drink the local ale at the Dunwich pub, The Ship.
Although this is stronger and tastier than the watery ale she would have drunk.
Just as in Edlin’s day, Dunwich is a fabulous place to celebrate with family and friends!