Resort town and port in Suffolk, England, 62 km/38 mi northeast of Ipswich, the most easterly town in Britain; population (2001) 57,750. Offshore oil and gas fields provide significant employment related to production and exploration, including oil platform construction and supply services. Historically a fishing port, the industry is still active but has declined dramatically. Fish- and food-processing (especially freezing), tourism, and the manufacture of radar, electrical equipment, and televisions are also important. Lowestoft Ness is the most easterly point in England.
The composer Benjamin Britten was born here in 1913.
The older part of Lowestoft is built on the cliff overlooking the sea, the later development after the opening of the railway in 1847 being further south.
History The name Lowestoft appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Lothu Wistoft, derived from Hloover's Toft, Hloover being an Old Norse name. In 1916 during World War I the town was attacked by German warships, and it was damaged during World War II. Its role as a large naval base and the headquarters of the minesweeping service is marked by the Royal Naval Patrol Service Memorial in Belle Vue Park. Kirkley was incorporated in Lowestoft in 1854 and Oulton Broad in 1921. Lowestoft china was made here from 1757 to 1802.
Harbour The harbour was formed by linking Lake Lothing, now known as the Inner Harbour, with the sea in 1831. The construction of Trawler Basin in 1846, Waveney Basin in 1883, and Hamilton Dock in 1906 greatly extended the quay space. Mutford Lock at the western end of the Inner Harbour is linked to Oulton Broad, a boating centre. Large coast protection schemes have been carried out to the north and south of the harbour.