Horse & Groom
Vestigial lettering

Two buildings of quite different style at 104 Woodbridge Road were for many years conjoined to form this public house.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Horse & Groom 22013 image
In August 2013, while temporary road-works held up traffic, we noticed that – due to the raking sunlight around noon – some ghost lettering was visible. By the time that these photographs were taken in September, the masonry paint had been partially applied, but the slightly raised lettering was still readable:
'ALES
-
WINES
AND
SPIRITS'
This must be the characteristic '(Tolly) Cobbold Ales, Wines & Spirits' seen elsewhere. This wall once had a portrait-format rectangular sign screwed over the lettering in this position.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Horse & Groom 7   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Horse & Groom 62014 images
The raking sunlight of March 2014 shows the arc of 'ALES', a decorative flourish before 'WINES', a decorative font for 'AND' and plain caps for 'SPIRIT'. The cartouche is partially visible and it now looks as if there are two sets of the same sign, an earlier one slightly larger than the later. However, it is perhaps more likely that the characters had a drop-shadow.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Horse & Groom 82015 images Ipswich Historic Lettering: Horse & Groom 9
The Ipswich Society's List of buildings of local architectural or historic interest... (1985) lists the original Horse & Groom, at the right, painted yellowish-brown:
'17th C.
2 storey timber frame, rendered and painted.
Red plain conc. tile roof with change in pitch at tie beam. 1 chimney.
Facade altered 19th C. 2 window range, 3 light sashes. Timber pilasters & fascia to pub entrance LHS. 20th C. extension to left hand side, slate roof. 2 window range, sashes.'

The ever-dependable Suffolk CAMRA site (see Links) tells us that records go back to 1830 for this pub. After several closures and re-openings in recent years, the business closed in May 2012.
By 2013, work was well underway in refurbishing the buildings as two cottages once again.
For a 1902 map of the area round this public house see our Palmerston Road page; fittingly in the yard behind the pub was a smithy, clearly marked.
This lettering bears comparison with the 'Cobbolds' vestigial lettering in St Nichlas Street. See also the Pubs & Off-licences page and the 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