A community perspective from the 1840s to 1920s contains entries for the community from the Suffolk Directories of White (1844) and Kelly (1929) and William Dutt’s gazeteer of Suffolk (1927; first prepared in the 1890s)


BENACRE, or Binacre, a scattered village, 7 miles S.E. of Beccles, and S.W. of Lowestoft, and 6 miles N.N.E. of Southwold, has in its parish 194 souls, and 2575A; 3R.13P. of sandy and marshy land, extending eastward to the sea beach, near which is Benacre Broad, a sheet of fresh water covering more than 50 acres, and bounding in pike and other fish. It was anciently the lordship and demesne of the Pierpoints, and afterwards passed successively to the Bowetts, Dacres, and other families. It was purchased about the middle of last century of the Carthew family by Sir Thos.Gooch, who was created a Baronet in 1746. 1t now belongs to his descendant, Sir Thos. Sherlock Gooch, Bart of Benacre Hall, a spacious mansion of white brick, in a large and beautiful park, on the west side of the parish. In 1786, one of the workmen employed in cutting the turnpike, which adjoins the park, found a stone bottle, containing upwards of 900 pieces of silver coin, mostly in good preservation, and none older than the time of Vespasian. Sir T. Gooch bought about 700 of them, and the remainder were sold to a Jew, who retailed them at low prices in the neighbourhood.The Church (St. Michael) is a neat fabric, and the living is a rectory, with the rectory of Easton-Bavents and the vicarage of Covehithe united with it, and valued in K.B. at £18 ; and in 1835, at £440. Sir T. S. Gooch, Bart.is patron, and the Rev. Wm. Gooch, incumbent. They support a daily and Sunday school, for the instruction of the poor. The other principal parishioners are Stephen Cox, vict., Walnut Tree; Christopher Smith, bailiff; and Osborne Clacke, Edmund Cottingham, and James Eccleston, farmers.


BENACRE is a parish and village, 6.5 miles north from Southwold, 6 south-by-west from Lowestoft station on the London and North Eastern railway, 8 south-east from Beccles, in the Lowestoft division of the county, Blything hundred, petty sessional division and union, Halesworth and Saxmundham county court district, rural deanery of Beccles, archdeaconry of Suffolk and diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. To the north a small stream runs into the sea by a sluice, draining some marsh land. The church of St.Michael, rebuilt in 1769, at the sole expense of Sir Thomas Gooch, 3rd bart. is a structure principally of flint with stone dressings, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, south aisle and south porch and an embattled western tower containing one bell: there are 250 sittings. The register dates from about 1727, the earlier books having been destroyed by fire. The living is a rectory, consolidated with that of Cove-hithe, formerly called North Hales, joint net yearly value £526, with 22 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of Sir Thomas Vere Sherlock Gooch bart. and held since 1909 by the Rev. Lewis William Wingfield M.A. of University College, Durham. Benacre Hall, the property and residence of Sir Thomas Vere Sherlock Gooch bart. J.F. lord of the manor and sole landowner, is a large mansion of brick, situated in a park of 230 acres, timbered principally with oak, beech and ash; about 1.5 miles distant from the hall is Benacre Broad, a fine sheet of fresh water. The interior of the hall was destroyed by fire in 1925, but has since been rebuilt. The soil is mixed; subsoil, sand. The chief crops are wheat, barley and roots. The area is 2,521 acres of land, 23 of water and 13 of foreshore; the population in 1921 was 229 in the civil and 403 in the ecclesiastical parish.

Parish Clerk, Henry Cable.
Letters through Beccles, Suffolk. The nearest M. O. & T. office is at Wrentham.
Carriers from Southwold & Wrentham to Lowestoft pass through daily


BENACRE Hall (6. m. S. by W. of Lowestoft), the seat of Sir Thos. V. S. Gooch, Bart., stands close to the little town of Wrentham, its park bordering the main road from Lowestoft to Southwold. It is a large white-brick house, which has been the seat of the Gooch family for several generations. Two distinguished members of the family were Sir Wm. Gooch, 1st Bart., Lieut Governor of Virginia, who died in 1751, and Sir Thos. Gooch, 2nd Bart., Bishop of Bristol, 1737, Norwich, 1738, and Ely, 1747. Another Sir Thomas, 5th Bart., was the first person to suggest to the Government the raising of Yeomanry cavalry corps. The idea, however, seems to have originated with Arthur Young, the agriculturalist. The church, which contains some memorials to the Goochs, was practically rebuilt in 1769. Benacre is a coast parish, and on its E. side, near the beach, is a small broad with a wild-fowl decoy. Several rare birds have been shot in the neighbouhood, including a crane and a little bustard in breeding plumage.