Blythburgh's Holy Trinity church can be seen from a distance. It is built on a hill, which provides
an overview of the land and marshes that extend from the foot of the hill.
A little further to the north is the Blyth river, in practice a silted arm of the North Sea subject to tidal movements. This is where we find Blythburgh with one of the many magnificent parish churches along the coast north of Ipswich. The funds required for building these churches came from merchants who had made their fortune in shipping and in trade.
One of the features of these churches is that they are visible from a long distance, so that they appear to be a beacon beckoning from afar. Once you have arrived in the village or town, however, they seem to have shrunk considerably so that you are occasionally inclined to ask for the way to the church. This is not always the case, as interestingly some churches were built outside the village, as if to purposely isolate them from the village. Hammond Innes (East Anglia, ISBN 0-340-50671-7) in his book wonders whether this is a precautionary measure from the bubonic plague that repeatedly afflicted the people. Blythburgh's Holy Trinity church is an example of such a church built outside the village; it is located on top of a natural elevation on the edge of a brackish marsh, a monument built on the location of a Roman harbour and on land that was once controlled by Edward the Conqueror.