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DSCN1362-view-to-sizewell-along-beach crop 800x400.jpg
View towards the Sizewell power stations along the beach
Map showing location of Sizewell
Map showing location of Sizewell
Sizewell shown within Suffolk
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Leiston
Postcode district IP16
Dialling code 01728
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°12′25″N 1°37′12″E / 52.207°N 1.620°E / 52.207; 1.620Coordinates: 52°12′25″N 1°37′12″E / 52.207°N 1.620°E / 52.207; 1.620

Sizewell is a small fishing village in the English county of Suffolk, England. The population of the village is included in the civil parish of Aldringham cum Thorpe. It is located on the North Sea coast just north of the larger holiday village of Thorpeness and between the coastal towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the town of Leiston and is located within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. It is the site of two nuclear power stations with plans for a third station to be built at the site.

The village was part of the Ogilvie estate, which extended as far south as Aldeburgh. Sizewell Hall, now used as a Christian conference centre, is still owned by the Ogilvie family. From the end of the war up to 1955 it housed a mixed, semi-progressive prep school attended by, among others, the theatre critic and biographer Sheridan Morley.[1]

Sizewell is part of the parish of Leiston and retains a few basic services associated with tourism, including a refreshment kiosk and a public house. A handful of fishing boats still operate from the beach.

Nuclear power stations[edit]

The village is the location of two separate nuclear power stations, the Magnox Sizewell A and Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) Sizewell B, which are readily visible to the north of the village. Sizewell A is decommissioned and stopped producing electricity in 2006. The decommissioning process is expected to take until 2027 to complete, with the site not expected to be cleared until 2098.[2] There are plans to build a third nuclear power station at the site, although as of May 2013 there were significant doubts about whether an agreement would be reached with the government.[3]

"Chernobyl twinned with Sizewell" was a slogan used by anti-nuclear campaigners.[4]

Wartime history[edit]

Monument to 32 Engelandvaarders on Sizewell beach

The beach at Sizewell was the landing site of Henri Peteri and his brother Willem in September 1941. The brothers left the Dutch town of Katwijk in a collapsible canoe on a journey that took 56 hours.
Those who escaped occupied Holland were known as Engelandvaarders. About 1700 Engelandvaarders reached England, including about 200 men who reached England across the North Sea; 32 men tried to make a canoe trip like the Peteri brothers, but only eight succeeded in reaching the English coast.[5]

In 2005, Henri Peteri commissioned a monument to the memory of the men who made the journey across the North Sea by canoe, consisting of a pair of crossed kayak oars and a broken paddle that commemorates those who did not survive the trip. In June 2009, the monument was unveiled by his widow on Sizewell Beach, together with the original kayak.[5][6] An inscription on the broken paddle reads:

In memory of the thirty-two young Dutchmen
who tried to escape to England by kayak
during World War II to join the Allied Forces.
Eight of them reached the English coast.

The last living survivor dedicated this memorial
to his brothers in arms who were less fortunate.
He reached England – and freedom –
on this beach on 21 September 1941.


  1. ^ "Sizewell Hall: History". 
  2. ^ Sizewell A, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  3. ^ Doubts over plan for Sizewell C nuclear power station, BBC Suffolk news website, 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b History, Engelandvaarders 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  6. ^ Council adds to tributes to modern Engelandvaarders, Suffolk Coastal District Council, 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2013-05-28.

External links[edit]