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Much of the town, has now been lost to the sea. In the 16th century, Aldeburgh was a leading port, and had a flourishing ship-building industry. Sir Francis Drake's ships Greyhound and Pelican (later renamed Golden Hind) were both built in Aldeburgh. The flag ship of the Virginia Company, the Sea Venture is believed to have been built there in 1608. When the River Alde silted up and was unable to accommodate larger ships, the area went into decline. Aldeburgh survived principally as a fishing village until the nineteenth century, when it became popular as a seaside resort. Much of its distinctive and whimsical architecture derives from this period. The river is now home to a flourishing yacht club.
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