Cobbold's Ales & Spirits
The most vestigial of Ipswich vestigial lettering

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cobbolds 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rose Hotel period 
It is fascinating to see the two views of this building in St Peters Street (2013 to the left, early 20th century? to the right), but the period photograph was the last item on this page to be discovered. The building is largely unchanged today, the corner pub door now a window, even the street lamp on its bracket is still there above a smaller door which is blocked up today. The original ground-floor windows feature the lettering: 'Choice Wines & Spirits' on Rose Lane; 'Fine Ales ...? Stout' on St Peters Street. (Incidentally, in the first photograph you can also see the Thomas Wolsey public house to the right at number 9 St Peters Street – a more recent hostelry in a 17th century building).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rose Lane sign
This example of historic lettering is passed by hundreds every day, but unless the sun is in the right direction and the observer is particularly acute, it's easily missed. We are indebted to the eagle eye of Simon Knott (see Links for Simon's Suffolk Churches) for this lettering. The location is between the first storey windows, behind the tree (photograph above left). This is the former Rose Hotel at 5-7 St Peters Street which closed in 1969. It gives Rose Lane its name. It is a Grade 2 listed building but was partly demolished in 1903 for road-widening. The remaining parts are now used as offices. The building dates from the 17th century. It was one of Ipswich's most ancient inns; one of only 24 listed on a town assessment of 1689. The building was identified via the Lost Pubs Project website with additional information from Suffolk CAMRA (see Links for both).

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cobbolds 22013 images
It is the ultimate vestigial lettering, a ghost of a defunct brewery on a defunct hotel's wall:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cobbolds 3
This retouched image reveals the sign. There is a familiarity to those who have noticed the ghostly lettering on former public house The Globe in St George's Street, which has been similarly smothered. One wonders if the rough-cast rendering was worked over relief letters – or even thickened painted letters – to obliterate them. It's amazing just how many buildings in Ipswich are former pubs, inns or taverns.

We found this account by Ipswichian, Linda Erith:
“I remember going to the Hippodrome with my mother as a young child in the early fifties. The acts were the usual variety type but nude scenes were starting to be a feature. On one occasion my sister Rose came with us and was invited by the comic to take part in a sketch. She had to say ‘I wonder where my husband is tonight’ and my mother yelled out, ‘He’s at the Ufford Crown’. It got a big laugh.
We used to go the Cardinal Cafe first, which was opposite, and I would have a Kit-E-Cola to drink, complete with a picture of a kitten on the label. This was probably manufactured locally as there was still rationing and Coca-Cola was rarely seen in the shops. Across from the theatre in St Peter’s Street was the Rose pub, which had stables and cages etc in the yard at the back to accommodate all the animals and birds that were a regular feature of variety acts.  Although the Hippodrome has been demolished the cafe and pub building are still there.”
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rose Hotel ISPhotograph courtesy The Ipswich Society
The above view down St Peters Street comes from the excellent Ipswich Society Flickr collection (see Links); it clearly shows the Cobbold's relief lettering, also that it was painted red.

Thomas Cobbold founded his Harwich Brewery in 1723. This was 134 years before it merged with the Tollemache Breweries Ltd to become 'Tolly Cobbold' by which time it was brewing beers on Cliff Quay Brewery. Cobbold's made the move from Harwich to Ipswich to take advantage of the natural spring waters which fed the pools in the Cobbold family parkland, now Holywells Park. The brewery itself has a fascinating history including a working steam engine used to pump the waters to the top of the brewery building. So this lettering is pre-1957.

This building is just across the road from The Sailor's Rest, a few yards down from the Wolsey statue and Curson Lodge.
nother recently noticed vestige can be found on the side of the Horse & Groom in Woodbridge Road. See also the Pubs & Off-licences page and the Tolly Cobbold House & Brewery pages. See our Vestiges page for more traces of old trade lettering.


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2004 Copyright throughout the Ipswich Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
No reproduction of text or images without express written permission