The Golf Hotel and the 'Tolly Follies'
Standing on the outer reaches of Foxhall Road is one of a
collection of 1920s/1930s 'Tolly
Follies': large, mock-baronial,
eyecatcher public houses designed by the architect John Shewell Corder
to ape the style of Helmingham Hall*, home of the Tollemache family,
located around ten miles to the north of Ipswich.
The Golf Hotel on Foxhall Road,
The Haven on Felixstowe Road – much later renamed The Crown and
converted into flats,
The Golden Hind in Nacton Road,
The Cricketers –
once the Town House – on Crown Street,
The Suffolk Punch on Norwich
Waveney Arms on Bramford Road closed in 1994 and stood empty for a
number of years, before being shamefully demolished for housing.
Safe Harbour, which stood on the corner of Highfield & Meredith
Roads on the Whitton estate, closed for business in 1995 & was
(ditto) demolished two years later.
The Golden Hind in Cambridge is the
only Tolly Folly outside of Ipswich; it is the twin of The Golden Hind
in Nacton Road.
N.B. Some sources quote the following as Tolly Follies:
The Margaret Catchpole, Listed Grade II*, on Cliff Lane, a large
public house built in 1936 designed by Harold Ridley Hooper of Ipswich,
for the Cobbold Brewery; intended as a rival to the Tolly Folies. By
the look of the frontage, the same could be said of:
Royal George at the junction on Colchester Road (the last named two are
substantial buildings but lack the mock-grandeur of the Tolly Follies).
(*Helmingham Hall is a moated manor house in Helmingham, north
of Ipswich. It was begun by John Tollemache in 1480 and has been owned
by the Tollemache family ever since. The house is built around a
courtyard in typical late medieval/Tudor style. It is not open to the
public, although the grounds are.)
The frontage on Foxhall Road bears, above the main entrance, a
stepped panel bearing the decorative, incised words:
Above: the panel is repeated quite high up on a chimney breast
above the west side entrance – much sharper in the spring sunshine on
Inside the building the vintage golf imagery which once
decorated the walls has largely gone, to be replaced by 'olde worlde'
framed prints including this hammed-up version of the Borough coat of arms. The odd, asymmetrical red
adornments above the coat of arms enclose an exclamation mark, for some
reason. It is as if the upper lion is astonished to
find himself holding a galleon – as well might be. This is taken from
the "Pa-Pa" Heraldic Series.
Although postcards of the above series have appeared for sale
dated 1960, this may well only refer to the reprinting date. The design
and treatment appear to be more early 20th century in date.
Architect John Shewell Corder is commemorated on a plaque in Tooley's & Smart's Almshouses courtyard
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Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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