Castle Hill Community Centre
Heritage Open Days 2018 on September 15/16 2018 gave us the
chance to revisit this building. Surrounded by suburban housing
estates, this Woolpit white brick building has remarkable original
features. The first which strikes the visitor are the date monograms on
the entrance portico.
Topped by terra cotta ball finials the structure bears 'AD' and
1893' intertwined with foliage, a flower and fruit. An identical
configuration can be seen at Morpeth House
in Lacey Street (there in terra cotta). The figure '1' in the date
pierces the lower left curve of the figure '8'.
Similar examples can be found on the Co-op
store in Cauldwell Hall Road (1896),
on Aldeburgh seafront
(1898) and Sudbury
Masonic Hall (1886).
Above: the bay window below the gable is missing one of its
finials; the brackets below very deep external window-sills along with
surviving wrought ironwork are of interest.
Inside the porch a round-topped, unglazed window brings in
light; ironwork here is a later addition for security. The attractive,
polychrome tiled mosaic floor has survived well.
The interior retains plaster ceiling roses and fine, deep cut
plaster cornices; the fold-out internal shutters are, perhaps,
The staircase is the star of the show with acorn bannister
post finials, staggered rectangular timber patterning and a large
'Originally an eight bedroom Gentleman's residence, built in
1893 by Henry Orford on the site of a Roman villa.
The house was gifted to East Suffolk County Council in 1947 by the
farmer George Jennings who had bought the property in 1911 from the
The house has been many things to many people over the years including
a Doctor's surgery and a school. Today the building is managedby Castle
Hill Community Centre IMG, a community-based organisation.' [Heritage Open Days 2018 booket published
by the Ipswich Society]
One can imagine this house, on a rise above the Gipping valley,
largely surrounded by open fields. Presumably a carriage driveway led
down to today's Norwich Road.
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throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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