Assyrian army

Assyrian army

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Dunwich. The real place.

On page 84 of  The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia there is a comment 'Lovecraft found the name Dunwich' in Arthur Machen's novel N, according to Robert M. Price. It refers to an actual town in Great Britain that the sea washed away.'

Just got back from a visit there...

This is still an issue today... sign on edge of carpark showing the marsh/heath.

This is a model in the museum (worth a visit!) showing how much of the area has been lost since the storms of the 1280s onwards.. The area is still losing about a metre a year! The yellow dotted line shows the current shoreline - the original town used to be a major seaport with a population of about 3,000. That red outlined bubble is supposed to show the current location of the museum - it's actually a bit further up.

So this is the view over the car park with the village in the back ground - you can just see the top of the church's tower at the right end of the village. The marsh is mainly to the right.

A view of the marsh from a few yards away from the previous picture. It's actually very dry at the moment, doesn't look a bit like a marsh!

Poster of the marshes and forest - the town/village is off-map at the bottom.

OK. leave the car park, basically turn the corner and there's the village. First in view is the local, The Ship.  The road through the village is straight, no bends. You can see the line of houses on one side of the road; they're close enough together for me to describe it as a terrace.

The other side of the road to the terrace looks like this... the hedge continues all the way down with a few openings where a house has been built behind it!

The museum. Well worth a visit!

View of the terrace (must keep stating that is my description!) from the museum to the Ship.

After the terrace there is a stretch containing detached houses - there are a few on each side of the road. Note the hedges!

To the 'modern' St. James church - could really do the entire blog on this but...

Other side of the church. That 'monument' in the foreground is the transplanted remains of a church that fell into the sea at the beginning of the 20th Century!

There is also the remains of a leper hospital chapel in the churchyard, the current church being built on the site of the hospital - this being because the long gone leper hospital had been originally way outside the village limits!

Then there are a Commonwealth War Graves area and cenotaph - a minor road turns off to the left at this point.

So a wargames setup would look something like this - very simplified and not completely accurate but a good impression. For wargames purpose, perhaps move the wood further forward?

Lovecraft type scenarios? Drowned villagers or lepers coming from the sea? Possibly following a flood that breaks through the sea wall? Or the drowned village being taken over by Batrachians and some divers find them? Or.....?

Plus you can see Sizewell B nuclear power station from the beach - so gives even more possibilities.


  1. I see from the traffic sign that one has to look out for low-flying motorcycles. Must be quite a place!

    1. Yes, I believe there have been a few issues in the past.

  2. Very interested post, a fascinating place indeed.

  3. Somewhere I've been meaning to go to for years (here and Walberswick). Fascinating post and although your pictures look idyllic I can sense a latent and nebulous horror beneath the bucolic facade.

    1. We'd been to that area several times in the past but it was the first time we'd looked round the village - it was a worthwhile visit. It also gives a lot of gaming possibilities!

  4. It's a lovely part of the world, what with Dunwich Heath and Minsmere too. The ruins of Greyfriars above the village are interesting too, and might add atmosphere to your game. The fish and chips in the beach cafe are good too! (See it all soon folks before Sizewell C construction starts..)
    p.s. I am told that the publisher of the British 1st Editions of Cthulu stories ( Neville Spearman ) used to live in the house next door to mine!

    1. We had intended to go to the beach cafe, but there was a coach trip in and the line was...long. So we went back to the Ship instead.

  5. Good call on the Ship. We stayed there on our trip to Dunwich and I recall the catering was decent.