The building next door to the Bistro on the Quay, 3 Wherry Quay,
bears an oval
plaque cast by Crane Co. for the Maritime
Ipswich Festival in 1982. It is the former Salt Office, served by
Salthouse Street, which warehoused and traded in salt. It
is also known as Christies warehouse. Ipswich was an important salt
port, bringing in the product of 'salines' on the west coast of France
where seawater was evaporated in the warm summer sun.
Salt was an important condiment for flavouring bland Tudor food and
used as a preservative of fish, meats and other foodstuffs. One notable
merchant involved in the trade was Henry Tooley whose bequest founded
the Tooley Almshouses.
courtesy Tony Marsden 2014
'MARITIME IPSWICH 1982
WAREHOUSE DESIGNED BY
ENGINEER OF THE WET DOCK
IPSWICH SOCIETY TRAIL ... CAST BY CRANE LTD'
20.7.2016: However, Bob
Malster, historian of all things maritime (see various titles in the Reading list) tells us that this plaque might be
misleading. He has seen the architect's plans for the building and they
were dated 1886. Given that the Wet Dock was opened in January 1842,
this building might have been much later.]
When Henry Palmer designed the
Wet Dock, cutting off a section of the Orwell by damming it top and
bottom and forming the New Cut to carry the waters of the Gipping to
the sea, he proposed the construction of a continuous quay all the way
along the north and east sides of the Dock. In fact for reasons of
economy the quay was cut short on the east side at what was then known
as the Ballast Wharf (see our Wet Dock map),
and from there to the lower dam there was merely a slope into the
water. Even in later times there were only timber stages at the far end.
Henry Robinson Palmer (1795-1844) was a British engineer who
designed the first monorail system and invented corrugated iron. From
1816, on finishing his apprenticeship, Palmer was engaged by the great
civil engineer Thomas Telford and worked for him for ten years on a
large number of road and canal surveys and associated designs. In 1826
he was appointed resident engineer to the London docks where, over the
next nine years, he designed and executed the Eastern Dock, with the
associated warehousing, entrance locks, bridges, and other works.
Around 1835 he moved to Westminster as a consulting engineer and was
involved in numerous surveys for projected railways, and the design and
construction of several docks and harbours, including those at Port
Talbot, Ipswich, Penzance, and Neath. He carried out the original
surveys for the South Eastern Railway, assisted by P. W. Barlow, and
would have executed the scheme but ill health intervened. His original
surveys for a Kentish railway dated from the time he was associated
Other examples of these Ipswich Society's Maritime Ipswich plaques can be found on The
Sailor's Rest, The
Custom House, Isaac
Lord at 80 Fore Street, The
Old Neptune Inn at 86 Fore Street, Thomas
Eldred's house at 97 Fore Street, The
Captains' Houses in Grimwade Street, The
Bull Inn, Tooley Court and Isaac's on the quayside.
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throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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