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Old lighthouse at Crazy Mary's Hole geograph - 4221270.jpg
The former Pakefield lighthouse
Pakefield is located in Suffolk
Location within Suffolk
Population6,563 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceTM534902
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLowestoft
Postcode districtNR33
Dialling code01502
UK Parliament
List of places
52°27′04″N 1°43′41″E / 52.451°N 1.728°E / 52.451; 1.728Coordinates: 52°27′04″N 1°43′41″E / 52.451°N 1.728°E / 52.451; 1.728

Pakefield is a suburb of the town of Lowestoft in the north of the English county of Suffolk. It is located around 2 miles (3.2 km) south of the centre of the town. In 1931 the parish had a population of 1774.[2]

Pakefield has boundaries with Carlton Colville and Kirkley. It also borders the parish of Gisleham. The village of Kessingland is 2+12 miles (4.0 km) to the south.


Pakefield is the site of one of the earliest known areas of human habitation in the United Kingdom. In 2005 flint tools and teeth from the water vole Mimomys savini, a key dating species, were found in the cliffs. This suggests that hominins can be dated in England to 700,000 years ago, potentially a cross between Homo antecessor and Homo heidelbergensis.[3][4][5][6][7]

Bloodmoor Hill, between Pakefield and Carlton Colville, was the site of settlement in the 2nd and 3rd centuries and the 7th and 8th centuries.[8] The Saxon period consisted of a relatively dense settlement as well as a cemetery which included at least one rich barrow burial.[8] Artefacts were discovered at the site in the 18th Century and the Saxon cemetery site was the subject of archaeological investigations between 1998 and 2006.[8][9]

In the Domesday Book of 1086, Pakefield is called "Pagefella",[10] the name probably coming from the Pagan settlement name of Pagga's or Pacca's field.[11] The village was part of the King's holdings[12][13] and was part of the Hundred of Lothing.[13] It had a population of about 17 households, including a number of freemen.[12][13][14][15] Part of the tax payment made by the village was 600 herrings.[15]

Pakefield later developed as a fishing community.[11] The former terminus of the Tram Service from Lowestoft is located in the centre of Pakefield and is now the site of the Tramway Hotel.[11] In the modern era, the area played an important role in the Kindertransport programme nine months before the start of World War II. Many children who had not found prearranged foster families were given temporary shelter in the local holiday camp.[16]

On 1 April 1914 the parish was abolished and merged with Lowestoft, Carlton Colville and Gisleham.[17]

Coastal erosion[edit]

Coastal erosion has been an issue in the area for a number of years,[18] although this may have begun to stabilise.[11] A former lighthouse still stands on the coastline and is used by Pakefield Coastwatch.[19]



Pakefield sends two councillors to Suffolk County Council and Waveney District Council. The Member of Parliament is elected through the Waveney seat. For county council elections Pakefield is part of a larger constituency with the neighboring suburb of Carlton Colville.

The current East Suffolk council seat is held by the Labour Party.

Modern Pakefield[edit]

The coast is an important tourist destination with a number of holiday destinations, including a Pontins holiday camp.[20] In November 2010 Pontins entered administration, being taken over by the Britannia Hotel Group.[21]

The area has a number of local shops and businesses,[11] including The Seagull theatre and cinema. As well as the Anglican All Saints' Church and St Margaret's Church, Pakefield has a Catholic church dedicated to St Nicholas.[22]

It also has a primary school and a high school. The primary school was awarded a grant by the Royal Society in 2009 to develop a project called 'What has the sea ever done for us'.[23] Pakefield High School opened in September 2011 as part of a reorganisation of education in Lowestoft. This involved the closure of Pakefield Middle School and an extension of the primary school to take children up until the end of year 6. The high school took over the middle school site and buildings.[24][25]

The Promoting Pakefield Group was formed in 2004 to attempt to promote the area and its interests. A variety of local improvements have been made, including providing a Christmas tree, noticeboards and making improvements to the local war memorial.[26] The group is made up of a number of local businesses and other organisations.

Notable people[edit]

The author and illustrator Michael Foreman was born in Pakefield in 1938[27][28] and attended Pakefield Primary School.[29] He has written about Pakefield in his books.


  1. ^ Lowestoft Ward population 2011, Neighbourhood statistices. Retrieved 2015-09-25.
  2. ^ "Population statistics Pakefield CP/AP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  3. ^ Parfitt.S et al (2005) 'The earliest record of human activity in northern Europe', Nature 438 pp.1008-1012, 2005-12-15. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  4. ^ Roebroeks.W (2005) 'Archaeology: life on the Costa del Cromer', Nature 438 pp.921-922, 2005-12-15. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  5. ^ Parfitt.S et al (2006) '700,000 years old: found in Pakefield', British Archaeology, January/February 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
  6. ^ Good. C & Plouviez. J (2007) The Archaeology of the Suffolk Coast Archived 8 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service [online]. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  7. ^ Tools unlock secrets of early man, BBC news website, 2005-12-14. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
  8. ^ a b c Cambridge Archaeological Unit A Roman and Saxon settlement at Bloodmoor Hill, Pakefield, Lowestoft Archived 6 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  9. ^ English Heritage (2008) Historic Environment Enabling Programme Online - Report Detail: Bloodmoor Hill Archived 1 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  10. ^ Suckling. A. (1846) The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk: volume 1 [online]. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
  11. ^ a b c d e EDP24: Pakefield[permanent dead link]. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
  12. ^ a b Pakefield Archived 27 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Domesday Map. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  13. ^ a b c Domesday Book: folio 283r, National Archives.
  14. ^ Domesday Book: folio 302v, National Archives.
  15. ^ a b Domesday Book: folio 407v, National Archives.
  16. ^ Grenville. A (2008) The Kindertransports 70 years on Association of Jewish Refugees Journal, November 2008 [online]. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  17. ^ "Relationships and changes Pakefield CP/AP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  18. ^ The Suffolk Churches site. Retrieved 2009-11-10
  19. ^ Suffolk Tourist Guide - Pakefield. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  20. ^ Pakefield Holiday Park, Pontins. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  21. ^ Pontins to get 'Disney' makeover, BBC news website, 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  22. ^ The Suffolk Churches site - Pakefield St Nicholas. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  23. ^ Pakefield Primary School, The Royal Society, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  24. ^ Schools in Lowestoft and the surrounding area Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 2009-09-11
  25. ^ School Organisation Review Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  26. ^ Lowestoft Network[permanent dead link] pp.3-4. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
  27. ^ "Michael Foreman". IMDb.
  28. ^ "Ladybird Books at The Wee Web". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  29. ^ "Lowestoft's Dark stars". The Guardian.

External links[edit]

Media related to Pakefield at Wikimedia Commons