This church is awaiting a new entry.
2008 I began: Once, Belton was in
Suffolk. But in 1974 they moved the border; and
so, as we headed north from the lovely
Lothingland lanes into what is now the somewhat
dismal outer suburbia of Great Yarmouth and
Gorleston, we were in Norfolk once again. At the
end of the Second World War, Belton was a remote
village of not many more than the 600-odd people
who'd lived here at the time of the 1851 census,
when the population peaked in many rural East
Anglian parishes. In the 1940s, Arthur Mee came
this way for The King's England: Suffolk,
and remembered Belton's churchyard for a
beautiful view of the village and its winding
street among the trees below.
the 1960s, East Suffolk county council made plans
for a massive expansion of villages in this area.
Today, the population of the parish is not much
less than 5,000. Belton has the worst of both
worlds: it is a bit of suburbia which has floated
off, and drifts in isolation from the urban
conveniences, but is without any of the charms or
attractions of much of rural Norfolk. My heart
sunk as we threaded our way through the estate of
look-alike houses to find a lane that hardly
seemed to be there, as if it had been forgotten,
or left behind. This led out on to the edge of
the village, and there at a sharp bend in the
road was the church of All Saints.