Suffolk town, on the Orwell estuary. It was one of the earliest post‐Roman towns in Britain, originating in the 7th cent. as a trading port (wic). Large and wealthy from c. 650 to 850, it was less important in the high and later Middle Ages. Under the Tudors and Stuarts it enjoyed a second heyday as a port and cloth town, and was one of the half‐dozen largest English provincial towns.