Suffolk around the world

Published 3:44 pm Saturday, April 9, 2011

Here at the Suffolk News-Herald, we’re relatively familiar with all the other Suffolks of the world — or so we thought, until recently.

Thanks to inattentive public relations folks all around the world, we’re pretty used to getting press releases meant for media in the other Suffolks — but mostly the Suffolks in New York and England.

On our Google alerts that dutifully let us know of any news that has to do with Suffolk, we routinely see breaking news from the other Suffolks.

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Even so, I had no idea that there were dozens of places around the world named Suffolk.

Neither did Stephen Pestle, apparently, until he started researching for his site,

Pestle, who lives in the County of Suffolk, England, decided to find out everything he could about all the Suffolks in the world. He eventually rounded up about two dozen Suffolks, and put tons of information about them on the website.

They range from large counties and cities, like those in England and Virginia, to tiny neighborhoods in Arizona and Arkansas. There’s even topographical features named Suffolk, such as lakes, streams, reefs and hills.

The site is a wealth of information on the Suffolks around the world.

For example, Suffolk Park, Jamaica, once was a bustling plantation, but has suffered along with the rest of Jamaica’s sugar industry. These days, it remains no more than a hamlet on a road near a sugar-refining factory.

Karang Suffolk, a reef off the southwestern coast of Indonesia, was so named because it was first reported by in 1796 Capt. Robert Lambert of the HMS Suffolk, a ship that was involved in the French Revolutionary Wars. The position of the reef was not officially determined, however, until 1887.

Suffolk Hill in South Africa used to be known as Red Hill or Grassy Hill, but had its name changed when it was the site of a battle during the Second Boer War fought by the 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment.

The neighborhood of Suffolk in Belfast, Northern Ireland, developed as one of the world’s largest producers of linen before the rise of mass-produced cotton clothing brought a rapid decline in the linen industry. Late last century, the town transformed into a Protestant enclave inside predominantly Catholic West Belfast.

In Norway, Suffolkpynten and Suffolkvatnet (Suffolk Point and Suffolk Lake) are names for natural features on a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean that constitute the northernmost part of Norway. The population of the entire group of islands is less than 3,000.

If you want to know more about all the Suffolks around the world — or submit your own input and photos on our own Suffolk here in Virginia — visit You’re sure to read some interesting stuff.