Villages by the Sea





The programme explores the see-sawing fortunes of Walberswick in Suffolk. It’s a place that feels serenely beautiful to visit, although Ben Robinson learns that its history is anything but.

The way he skips over the centuries may leave you wanting more detail on some episodes, but broadly, it was an affluent port in the Middle Ages, fought a kind of trade war with its neighbour, Dunwich, became even more affluent, then declined in the 16th and 17th centuries to the point where the population was a mere 20 souls.

The late Victorians and Edwardians rediscovered its charm and Robinson visits some of the fine Arts and Crafts houses built by architect Frank Jennings.


Archaeologist Ben Robinson examines the history of Walberswick, the former medieval port on the Suffolk coast, which is now a favourite retreat for writers, artists and day trippers. For centuries the village lurched from prosperity to poverty and in medieval times a bitter battle for supremacy was fought against the neighbouring port of Dunwich.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Ben Robinson
Executive Producer Tony Parker
Executive Producer Diana Hare
Producer Clive Dunn