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Kirkley is located in Suffolk
Kirkley shown within Suffolk
Population7,439 (2011)[1]
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtNR33
Dialling code01502
AmbulanceEast of England
EU ParliamentEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°27′36″N 1°44′13″E / 52.46°N 1.737°E / 52.46; 1.737Coordinates: 52°27′36″N 1°44′13″E / 52.46°N 1.737°E / 52.46; 1.737

Kirkley is a district within the town of Lowestoft in the Waveney district of the English county of Suffolk. It is located south of the centre of Lowestoft and the town's Bascule Bridge and north of Pakefield and Kessingland. Kirkley was originally an independent village but after centuries of urban sprawl and development of the harbour area, is now part of the urban conurbation of Lowestoft. In council ward terms, it sits between the wards of Harbour and Pakefield.


Kirkley was briefly mentioned in the Domesday Book at which time it formed part of King William's estates and was held by Roger Bigot.[2] The area is described as a village with a population of around 433 by Suckling in 1846, with its main industry being fishing.[2]

The former parish church is dedicated to St Peter and St John Church.[3] The church had fallen into disrepair by 1640, with restoration taking place at some point in the 18th Century.[2][4]

In 1847, from his base at Somerleyton Hall, entrepreneur Samuel Morton Peto brought the railway to Lowestoft. A new resort was built by Peto in the then rural parish of Kirkley and along the south beach. Peto sponsored construction of St John's church on the corner of Belvedere Road for the inhabitants of the new town.[citation needed] This was damaged by flooding and finally demolished in 1977.[citation needed]

Peto's legacy can be seen throughout Kirkley, including Wellington Terrace and Gardens (where there is a commemorative plaque to him), period seafront houses and Kensington Gardens.[citation needed] Kirkley is also the site of Britten House, a large Victorian house in Kirkley Cliff Road where the composer Benjamin Britten was born in 1913.[citation needed]


Kirkley was ranked as the most socially deprived area in Suffolk and in 2007 was the 173rd most deprived area in England (out of 32,486).[5] It has the lowest life expectancy in Suffolk, at 73.96 years[5] and had higher crime rates than almost all other areas within Waveney.[5] Kirkley was part of the Waveney Sunrise Scheme and has received regeneration finance from the EU.[6]

Culture and community[edit]

The local high school is East Point Academy (formed by combining Kirkley Community High School and Year 7 & 8 from Kirkley Middle School) which teaches students from ages 11–16.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), a large fisheries research centre, which is a part of Defra, is located in the Kirkley area.[7][8]

Kirkley has a Non-League football club Kirkley and Pakefield Football Club who play at Walmer Road.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lowestoft Ward population 2011". Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Suckling. A. (1846) 'Kirkley', The history and antiquities of the County of Suffolk: volume 1 pp.260-269 (available online). Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  3. ^ The Suffolk Churches Site. Retrieved 2009-11-13
  4. ^ Page.A (1844) 'Kirkley Parish', Topographical and genealogical, The County of Suffolk (available online). Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  5. ^ a b c A profile of Waveney[permanent dead link], Waveney District Council, February 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  6. ^ Funding Streams to Support 1st East’s Regeneration[permanent dead link], 2008-11. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
  7. ^ Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology Contact Information: CEFAS Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  8. ^ Godfrey Maps (2001) NE Suffolk 1907 (reprint of 1907 Ordnance Survey map)
  9. ^ Suffolk FA List of football clubs in Suffolk Archived 10 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 2009-11-14.

Media related to Kirkley at Wikimedia Commons