, in the historical kingdom of East Anglia
. The name means simply "south folk", of course, and north of them is Norfolk
; the name of Suffolk is first recorded from 895. County town is Ipswich
, chartered 1200. Pronounced exactly the same as the first two syllables of "suffocate".
Another major town is Bury St Edmunds, whose cathedral is called St Edmundsbury. It's named after St Edmund, last Saxon king of East Anglia (c.856-870), who was martyred and replaced by a Danish monarchy: his remains were transferred here from Hoxne in 903. The Greene King brewery is based here.
The area is 3800 km2 and the population somewhere over 600 000. Its highest point is 130 m high, so it's quite flat, and indeed marshy. Along the coast is Aldeburgh, home of the Benjamin Britten festival. Other places of interest are Flatford Mill, scene of one of Constable's most famous paintings (he was born in Suffolk and lived around there much of his life); and the beautifully preserved medieval wool town of Lavenham.
Between Ipswich and Aldeburgh is Sutton Hoo, site of a magnificent Anglo-Saxon ship burial, believed to be of Raedwald (d. c. 625), last pagan king of East Anglia.