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St Martins Nacton - - 534420.jpg
St Martin's church, Nacton
Nacton is located in Suffolk
 Nacton shown within Suffolk
Population 757 (2011)[1]
OS grid reference TM220403
District Suffolk Coastal
Shire county Suffolk
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town IPSWICH
Postcode district IP10
EU Parliament East of England
List of places

Coordinates: 52°01′01″N 1°13′59″E / 52.017°N 1.233°E / 52.017; 1.233

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, on the remains of which a substantial house was built.[2] 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 a lane leading down to the school. The site of Alnesbourne Priory is close to Nacton.[3]

The village contains one of the few remaining active wildfowl decoys left in East Anglia.


In 1010 Ulfcytel, Ealdorman of East Anglia, fought the Danes in the area now called Seven Hills (there were more than seven barrows at one time) which is now mostly under junction 58 of the A14.

A country house in the parish, Broke Hall, was the seat of the Broke family, including Admiral Sir Philip Broke.

A former public house, the Anchor, appears to have been closed in controversial circumstances during the late 19th century.[4]

One of Nacton's famous inhabitants was Margaret Catchpole, who became legendary in the 19th century after 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.

Other famous residents included Edward Vernon, a naval hero.


An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward stretches north east to Waldringfield and at the 2011 census had a population of 4,602.[5]

Orwell Park Observatory, Nacton[edit]

An observatory, which had been commissioned at Orwell Park by Colonel George Tomline (1813-1889) has been in use as the base of the Orwell Astronomical Society, Ipswich (OASI) from the 1960s.[6][7]

In popular culture[edit]

Nacton's name was used as a word coined by Douglas Adams to describe the letter 'N' when inserted between two other words as an abbreviation for 'and', as in rock 'n' roll and fish 'n' chips.[8]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Edwards, Paul Historic Asset Assessment, Former Amberfield School, Nacton, Suffolk Report prior to proposed redevelopment, March 2013
  3. ^ Wilson J. M. (1872) 'Nacton', Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (available online). Retrieved 2011-04-30.
  4. ^ Nacton Anchor at The Suffolk Real Ale Guide, 8 December 2013. Accessed 21 February 2014
  5. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich) Official website
  7. ^ Whiting, Paul J. (2006). "The Work of John Isaac Plummer at Orwell Park Observatory in the Years 1874 to 1890". The Antiquarian Astronomer (Society for the History of Astronomy) 3: 95–100. Bibcode:2006AntAs...3...95W. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Nacton at The Suffolk Real Ale Guide. Accessed 21 February 2014

External links[edit]