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tent there is no variation; but it may be observed as a general rule, that wherever there are rivers in this space, the slopes descending to the vales through which they run, and the bottoms themselves are of a superior quality, being in general composed of rich friable. loams; and this holds even with regard to many inconsiderable streams which fall into the larger rivers. The chief part of this district would commonly, but improperly, be denominated clay, for, upon analysis, the soil has been found to be much more impregnated with sand than its texture would seem to indicate. Lying as it does upon a retentive clay-marl bottom, it may, from its wetness, be properly termed strong or clayey loam. This district of rich loam is much less clearly discriminated. It comprehends the space left by the preceding district between the rivers. Stour and Orwell, and a tract of coast a few miles in breadth between the latter and the Deben. It is composed of a vein of friable, putrid, vegetable mould, more inclined to sand than clay, and of extraordinary fertility. The best is about Walton, Trimley, and Felixtow, where, for depth and richness, much of it can scarcely be exceeded by any soils found in other parts of the county, and would rank high among the best in England. In the line from Ipswich to Hadleigh, it varies considerably, in many places approaching sand, and in many places being much stronger. The general complexion, however, of the whole of Samford Hundred is that of good loam.
Considering only the real quatity of the soil, the whole of the maritime district of this county, with the exception just mentioned, must be pronounced sandy; towards the north much inclining to loamy sands, and in others to sandy loams; but so broken, divided, and mixed with undoubted sands, that one term must be applied in a general view to the whole. This district, Mr. Arthur Young looks upon as one of the best cultivated in England, and it is also one of the most profitable. Few districts in the county, if any, abound with more wealthy farmers, or contain a greater proportion of occupying proprietors, possessing from one hundred to three and four hundred pounds a year. The inferior stratum of
this district varies considerably, but in general consists of sand," chalk, or crag, and in some parts of marl and loam. The crag is a singular mixture of cockle and other shells, found in great masses in various parts of the county, from Dunwich, quite to the Orwell, and even across that river to Wolverston park. It is both red and white, but generally of the former color, aad the shells so broken as to resemble sand. There are pits to be seen, from which great quantities of it have been taken to the depth of fifteen and twenty feet, for improving heaths; but on lands long in tillage, the use is discontinued, as it is found to make the sands blow more.
The western sand district comprehends the whole north-western angle of the county, except the corner to the left of a line drawn from Brandon to the conflux of the rivers Ouse and Lark. It contains few spots of such rich sands as are found on the coast, but abounds with warrens and poor sheep-walks. Parts of this tract, however, partake of the character of loamy sand; for instance, the whole angle to the right of a line from Barrow to Honington, in which no blowing or even very light sand is found. A more striking exception, though of smaller extent, is found at Mildenhall, in an open field of arable land, dry, yet highly fertile and friable, without being loose. The under stratum throughout almost all the district, is a more or less perfect chalk, at various depths; and, according to the eminent agricultural writer already quoted, it may be received' as a rule that, excepting the low vales contiguous to rivers, the whole of this part of the county is proper for sainfoin.
The fen district is confined to the corner cut off from the preceding. Its surface, to the depth of from one foot to six, is the common peat bog. In some places it is black, and solid enough to yield a considerable quantity of ashes in burning; but in others more loose, puffy, reddish, and consequently of inferior quality." The under stratum is generally a white clay or marl. Part of these fens is under water, though subject to a tax for drainage, which has been attempted, but failed. In Burnt Fen, however, a late act of parliament for improving the banks, has been put in execution
with such success, that 14,000 acres are completely drained and under cultivation.*
RIVERS.-Suffolk is a well watered county; its boundaries to the south and north are rivers navigable to a considerable height, and it is every where intersected with streams, which, if the practice of irrigation were more generally adopted, would be productive of incalculable benefit.
The Stour rises on the west side of the county, on the borders of Cambridgeshire, and first running southward to Haverhill, then taks an eastern direction, and forms throughout its whole course the boundary between Suffolk and Essex. It passes by Sudbury, and after being joined by the Bret, and other smaller streams, receives the tide at Manningtree. Here increasing considerably in breadth, it presents a beautiful object at high-water to the fine seat and grounds of Mistly Thorn, the effect of which, however, is considerably diminished by its muddy channel and contracted stream during the ebb. It meets the Orwell from Ipswich, and their united waters, having formed the port of Harwich, discharge themselves into the German Ocean, between that town and Landguard Fort.
The Gipping has its source in the centre of the county near Stowmarket Running in a south-east direction, it waters Ipswich, and assuming below that town the name of the Orwell, proceeds to meet the Stour opposite to Harwich. The banks of this river are in general picturesque, especially when it becomes an estuary below Ipswich, to which place it is navigable for ships of considerable burden. The banks there rise into pleasing elevations, beautifully fringed with wood, and adorned with several fine seats.
The Deben, which has its source near Debenham, takes a south-eastern direction, and passing by Woodbridge falls into the German Ocean, a few miles to the north of the two preceding rivers.
Young's Gen. View of the Agriculture of Suffolk, p. 6.
The Ald rises near Framlingham, and runs south-east to Aldborough, where having approached to within a very small distance of the sea, it suddenly takes a southern direction, and discharges itself below Orford into the German Ocean.
The Blythe has its source near Saxfield, in the hundred of Hoxne, whence running east-north-east to Halesworth, it then proceeds almost due east to Blythburgh and Southwold, where it falls into the sea.
The Larke rises in the south-western part of the county, passes Bury and Mildenhall, and joins the Great Ouse not far from the latter town.
The Waveney and Little Ouse have already been mentioned in treating of Norfolk. The former, after running fifty miles towards the sea in an eastern direction, and approaching its very shores, is opposed by a rising ground, which gives it an abrupt direction almost due north. This leads it to the river Yar; and though its waters are sufficient to give name to a harbour of its own, it merely assists as a secondary river in deepening and enlarging the harbour of Yarmouth. The meadows through which it passes with an even and gentle course, are supposed to be among the richest in England. Hither numerous herds of starved cattle from the highlands of Scotland find their way, and soon growing fat, continue their journey to supply the markets of the capital.*
ROADS AND CANALS.---The roads in every part of this county are excellent, the improvements made in them of late years being almost inconceivable : in most directions, indeed, the traveller finds cross ones equal to turnpike-roads.
The only canal in Suffolk, which will be noticed in another place, runs from Ipswich to Stowmarket.
WOODS.---The woods of Suffolk scarcely deserve mentioning. The strong loams formerly contained considerable quantities of large oak; but these have here, as in every other part of the king
Gilpin's Tour through Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk, &c.
dom, been much lessened, and the succession that is coming on bears no proportion to the growth that preceded. In general planting is undertaken more with a view to ornament than profit.
WASTES.---Though Suffolk must be reckoned among the earliest enclosed of the English counties, very large tracts yet want the benefit of this first and greatest of all improvements. Some modern inclosures have been made by act of parliament, but the examples are not well followed, though the success has been great.
The wastes of this county are calculated by Mr. Young,* from all the information which he could obtain, and a careful comparison of various data, to amount to nearly, if not quite 100,000 acres, or an eighth of the whole, comprehended under the terms sheepwalk, common, warren, &c. " None of these," adds the writer just mentioned," are strictly speaking absolutely waste, if by that term is understood land yielding nothing. I include all lands uncultivated, which would admit of a very great improvement, not always profitable to the tenant, who may, on a small capital, make a great interest per cent. by a warren, for instance, but in every case to the public. Many farmers think sheep-walks necessary for their flocks, which is very questionable. They are undoubtedly useful; and if they were converted into corn, the number of sheep kept upon a farm might in a few cases decline; but good grass adapted to the soil would be abundantly more productive for the flock. Whoever has viewed the immense wastes that fill almost the whole country from Newmarket to Thetford, and to Gastrop Gate, and which are found between Woodbridge and Orford, and thence one way to Saxmundham, not to mention the numerous heaths that are scattered every where, must be convinced that their improvement for grass would enable the county to carry many thousands of sheep more than it does at present."
The following recent inclosures, with the year in which they were made, and the quantity of land brought into cultivation, are mentioned by Mr. Young.t
Young's View of the Agriculture of Suffolk, p. 168.