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St Martin's church, Nacton
Nacton shown within Suffolk
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Nacton is a civil parish in the Suffolk Coastal region of Suffolk, England, taking its name from the village within it. The parish is bounded by the neighbouring parishes of Levington to the east and Bucklesham in the north. It is located between the towns of Ipswich and Felixstowe.
Nacton abuts the River Orwell opposite the village of Pin Mill. Riverside features covered by this parish are (from east to west) Buttermans Bay, Potter's Point, Downham Reach, Mulberry Middle and Pond Oose.
Nacton parish is the mother for the villages of Levington and Bucklesham and was sufficiently large to have a workhouse. This was used by Amberfield School as its main building until it closed in 2011. The more adventurous explorer can find the old burial ground opposite the entrance to lane leading down to the school. The site of Alnesbourne Priory is close to Nacton.
The village public house is the Shepherd and Dog, outside the village proper alongside the A1156 (formerly A45) road at the far northern edge of the parish.
The original public house, The Anchor, was in the centre of the village. This was closed by order of a local dignitary during the Great War (1914–18). Local legend has it that the wife of the main landowner, Mr Tomlin MP of Orwell Park (now Orwell Park School, formerly Aldeburgh Lodge, Aldeburgh) was accosted by a group of somewhat happy members of the soldiery while riding her horse and invited in for a drink. Being of good character, she declined, but her husband was less happy and decided the place should be closed. As a result he was on occasion greeted in parliament with the opposition cry of "Who closed the Nacton Anchor then?". More probably the landowner of this 'legend' was the heir of 'Colonel' George Tomline E. G. Pretyman, M.P. for Woodbridge, Suffolk from 1895–1906 and for Chelmsford from 1908-1923.
Nacton's most famous inhabitant was probably Margaret Catchpole, who became legendary in the 19th century. This followed the publication of 'The History Of Margaret Catchpole: A Suffolk Girl' by Richard Cobbold in 1845. It is a classic story of young girl falling in love with a villain (a smuggler called Will Laud) and suffering the consequences. She stole her employer's horse and rode to London to be with Laud. She was convicted of theft and sentenced to death, but managed to escape. She was recaptured and transported to Australia for life.
Orwell Park Observatory, Nacton
An observatory, which had been commissioned at Orwell Park by its then owner, Colonel George Tomline (1812 - 1889), has been in use as the base of the Orwell Astronomical Society, Ipswich (OASI) from the 1960s.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nacton.|
- Reference on www.british-history.ac.uk
- Location and picture at www.geograph.org.uk
- Account of Nacton workhouse and riots at EASF radical history site