A Brief History of Bacton


Bacton has been settled since Anglo-Saxon times and appeared in the Domesday Book as a large village of 62 households in the Hundred of Hartismere.

At the time of the Conquest it was under the overlordship of the Saxon noble Leofwine, who had lands in many parts of Suffolk and Essex, and pigs were the main livestock kept. Twenty years later when the Domesday Book was compiled, Walter the Deacon was the overlord and sheep now greatly outnumbered the pigs. Today animal husbandry is still important in Bacton.

From 1236 to 1536 Bacton was under the rule of the Bishops of Norwich. The controversial Richard Nykke, last Roman Catholic bishop before the English Reformation, built a palace in Bacton which was eventually demolished and the bricks used to build cottages. His coat of arms can be seen in the South aisle window of the Parish Church of St. Mary's which dates from the 1300's and stands in the middle of Bacton village.

Within the Parish there are 41 'Grade II', and 2 'Grade II*' listed buildings (National Heritage List for England 2018) one of which is Bacton Manor which was built by a member of an eminent local family, George Pretyman, some time between 1720 and 1730.