Ellough is a civil parish in the East Suffolk district of the English county of Suffolk, located approximately 3 miles (5 km) south-east of Beccles. The area is sparsely populated with a mid-2005 population estimate of 40.[lower-alpha 1][2] The parish, which has an area of 4.5 square kilometres (1.7 sq mi), borders Worlingham, North Cove, Mutford, Weston, Sotterley, Willingham St Mary and Henstead with Hulver Street.[1][3] The parish council operates to administer jointly the parishes of Shadingfield, Willingham St Mary, Sotterley and Ellough.[4]


All Saints Church, Ellough
Location within Suffolk
Area4.5 km2 (1.7 sq mi) [1]
Population40 (2005 est.)[2]
 Density9/km2 (23/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTM443871
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBeccles
Postcode districtNR34
Dialling code01502
UK Parliament

The village was the site of a World War II airfield built in 1943 and operated today as Beccles Airfield. Part of the former airfield is used as a kart racetrack and as an industrial estate, including the main production site of local printing firm William Clowes Ltd. The village itself is dispersed and has few services.[5] The A145 road, forming part of the Beccles southern bypass, runs along part of the northern border of the parish.


At the time of the Domesday survey, Ellough, known then as Elga, was a small settlement of four or five households.[6][7] It formed part of the lands of Roger Bigot and was held by Robert of Vaux, having been confiscated from Ralph Guader, former Earl of Norfolk, following a failed rebellion.[7][8] It is recorded as El'gh prior to 1400 and as Ellowe on a map of 1610.[8][9]

The manor passed through a number of owners, including the Playters of Sotterley, before being owned by the Earl of Gosford in the 1840s.[8][10] The church held some of the glebe land of St Mary's church in Willingham.[8] The population of the parish was 155 in 1848,[10] falling to 125 in 1871, at which time the parish was worth £1,687 and consisted of 1,097 acres of land.[11] The population declined dramatically following the second world war and now stands at less than 50.[12][13]

All Saints Church

Ellough church is dedicated to All Saints and stands in an exposed position on a ridge overlooking the parish.[11][14] It is medieval in origin, was heavily restored in the late 19th century, and is now a Grade I listed building.[15] It stands to the south of the valley of the Hundred River which has its mouth at Kessingland.

RAF Beccles

Ellough Airfield was completed in 1943 and served as a RAF Bomber Command and RAF Coastal Command airfield during World War II as RAF Beccles.[16] The airfield was decommissioned after the war and the land is now used as an industrial estate, a farmers market[17] and for Ellough Park Raceway, a kart racing circuit. William Clowes Ltd. printers moved to the industrial park in 2004[18] and the park has one of the UK's largest solar roof installation sited on the roof of a Promens warehouse and with a generating capacity of 1.65MW.[19] A series of solar farms have been built around the southern and western edges of the site.[20][21][22]

A basic airstrip, known as Beccles Airfield, remains at the site, used as a training base and private airfield. For a time a heliport operated to service oil and gas rigs in the North Sea.[16]


  1. 2011 United Kingdom census population data does not report population figures for parishes where the population is small enough to potential identify individuals. As a result no population figure is available for Ellough at the census.[3]


  1. Ellough (otherwise Willingham All Saints or Willough), Suffolk Heritage Explorer, Suffolk County Council. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  2. Estimates of Total Population of Areas in Suffolk, Suffolk County Council, 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2009-04-19. (Archived, 2008-12-19.)
  3. Village profile: Ellough, East Suffolk District Council, 2019. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  4. Shadingfield, Sotterley, Willingham and Ellough Parish Council Website, 2021. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  5. Shadingfield, Sotterley, Willingham & Ellough, Healthy Suffolk, 2016. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  6. Ellough, Domesday Map. Retrieved 2011-06-25. (Archived, 2012-03-13.)
  7. Ellough, Domesday Book online. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  8. Suckling AI (1846) 'Ellough, or Willingham All Saints', The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk: volume 1, pp. 53–57. Ipswich: WS Crowell. (Available online at British History Online. Retrieved 2011-06-25.)
  9. Ellough, The Suffolk Real Ale Guide, Suffolk CAMRA. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  10. Lewis S (ed) (1848) 'Ellough, or Willingham (All Saints)' in A Topographical Dictionary of England, pp. 158–161. (Available online at British History Online. Retrieved 2011-06-25.)
  11. Wilson JM (1872) 'Ellough' in Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, quoted at Ellough, Suffolk, Vision of Britain. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  12. Ellough AP/CP: Historical statistics – population, Vision of Britain. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  13. A profile of Waveney, Waveney District Council, February 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  14. Knott S (2021) All Saints, Ellough, Suffolk Churches. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  15. Church of All Saints, Ellough, British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  16. Shaw F History of Beccles (Ellough) Airfield, Rainair website. Retrieved 2009-04-19. (Archived, 2008-06-29.)
  17. Beccles Farmers Market. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  18. Staff call for safe route to work, BBC news website, 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  19. Beccles: Promens Packaging’s solar power generation hits the roof, Eastern Daily Press, 2012-08-12. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  20. Judge overrules Pickles over solar farm refusal, Planning, 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  21. Pickles approves Suffolk solar farm rejected in 2013, ITV News, 2015-03-15. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  22. Planning application, East Suffolk District Council, 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2021-02-10.

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