The Ipswich Society
has installed a number of blue plaques in the town: their version of
the English Heritage blue plaques seen in London. (By late 2012, with a
recession biting, E.H. announced that they would no longer be
researching, mounting and maintaining the London plaques, due to cuts
in funding – this seems to have changed again by 2014.) What
started at the turn of the century continues to be an important and
relevant tribute to some of the most distinguished people who were born
in the town or subsequently lived there. Their hope is that the plaques
will make the streetscape and our history more interesting.
Blue Plaques are as follows:
MARGARET TEMPEST (Lady Mears) (1892-1974)
3 St Edmunds Road, Ipswich.
Margaret Tempest was born at 28 Fonnereau Rd Ipswich, later moving to
34 Park Rd. She attended Ipswich Art School and Westminster School of
Art, graduating in 1914. She was a founder member of the Chelsea
Illustrators: a society of twenty women illustrators, who successfully
worked together between 1919 and 1939. Margaret is credited with the
distinctive design of Alison Utley’s Little Grey Rabbit books, which
she illustrated from 1929 into the 1960s. She illustrated her own books
as well as those of a wide range of authors. From London, Margaret
returned to Suffolk many weekends to pursue her passion of sailing. In
1939 Margaret moved permanently to the Ipswich area and married Sir
Grimwood Mears. They moved to 3 St Edmunds Rd in January 1951, where
Lady Mears continued living until her death. A long-time member and
committee member of Ipswich Art club, she exhibited her artwork till
the age of 82.
While we're in this road, let's note one of the few street
nameplates in Ipswich to use the possessive apostrophe in: 'ST.
EDMUND'S ROAD' (which isn't to be found in the more recent 'St.
Edmunds Place' – but both include the unnecessary full stop after 'St').
NINA FRANCES LAYARD (1853-1935)
Foundation Street, Ipswich.
Nina Layard was an archaeologist and writer. She is credited with the
first excavations of the old Dominican Friary in Blackfriars,
Foundation Street in 1898. Her work on the Valley Brick field in
Foxhall Road, has been acknowledged as highly significant, and her
paper on the Hadleigh Road Anglo-Saxon site was presented to the
Society of Antiquarians in London, where she was one of the first women
to become a Fellow. Following a newspaper appeal by her, public
subscriptions were raised for the memorial to nine Ipswich Martyrs
(now) in Christchurch Park (1903). She also published Seventeen Suffolk
Martyrs and other local history books. She was a founder member and
first woman president of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia.
CONSTANCE ANDREWS (b. 1864)
Restaurant Museum Street, Ipswich.
Constance Andrews was a leading Ipswich suffragette, was committed to
social justice and the campaign for Votes for Women. She formed the
local branch of the campaigning group The Women’s Freedom League. This
inspired a group of women who demonstrated, held meetings, organised
propaganda events, and carried out acts of civil disobedience – all to
gain support and put pressure on the government to give women the vote
on equal terms with men. In 1911 she organised the ‘No Vote, No Census’
protest in Ipswich, when about thirty women spent the night in the Old
Museum Rooms to boycott the Census. Later she spent a week in Ipswich
prison after refusing to buy a dog licence – part of a No Vote, No Tax
campaign. She was met at the prison gates by a large crowd of
supporters, and processed in a carriage through the streets to a
celebration breakfast at 16 Arcade Street.
MARY WHITMORE (1884 – 1974)
A smaller-that-usual sized plaque on the eastern pilaster of the Town
Hall frontage. Mary Whitmore was the first woman mayor of Ipswich. Her
interest in politics began when she joined the suffragette movement at
the formation of the Ipswich branch of the Women’s Social and Political
Union, (WSPU). After joining the Labour party in 1924 she was elected
as a councillor in 1930 and was very active in, and chaired a number of
public health committees. One of the founder members of the local
Workers Education Association (WEA), she was secretary from 1929-39. A
pioneer of women’s suffrage, education and public services she was
described by Doris Young, (a member of the National Labour Women’s
Advisory Committee), as a socialist, pacifist, and internationalist.
Whitmore was Mayor in 1949-50 and was awarded the MBE in 1951 for her
contribution to public services.
EDWARD ARDIZZONE (1900-1979)
This is the red brick Paul's maltings
on Albion Wharf, probably the
most handsome of the Wet Dock
buildings. (Because Paul's Maltings owned so many structures around the
dock, developers/planners seem to have favoured calling this building
"Cambria".) Ardizzone had strong links
with Ipswich. A (not entirely happy) pupil of Ipswich School in the
early 1900s, he often wandered around the Wet Dock for inspiration,
eventually becoming a noted artist, book illustrator and author. His
capturing on paper of local characters in the streets and in the many
local pubs showed his characteristic loose line-work.
CHARLES WHITFIELD KING
Unveiled in June 2014, this celebrates one of the biggest international
traders in postage stamps from his premises on both sides of Lacey
Street. For much more on this, see our Morpeth
CHARLES JOHN HUFFAM DICKENS
The Great White Horse, Tavern Street.
The English writer and social critic created some of the world's most
memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the
greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his life, his works
enjoyed unprecedented fame, and by the 20th century his literary genius
was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. His novels and short
stories continue to be widely popular. In 1835, Charles Dickens stayed
in Ipswich and used it as a setting for scenes in his novel The Pickwick Papers. The hotel
where he resided first opened in 1518; it was then known as The Tavern
and later became known as the Great White Horse Hotel. Dickens made the
hotel famous in chapter XXII of The
Pickwick Papers, vividly describing the hotel's meandering
corridors and stairs.
NATHANIEL BACON (1593-1660)
Manor House, St Margaret's Green.
This address was the house occupied by the
Cobbold family when their celebrated servant Margaret Catchpole stole
their prize horse to ride to the rescue of her lover in London; she was
imprisoned in Ipswich Gaol, escaped, was recaptured, sentenced to death
and eventually transported to Australia. Nathaniel Bacon, described as
a "pious, prudent learned man", was a
member of the Bacon family which achieved great prominence nationally
under Elizabeth I. Nathaniel was a key figure in Ipswich political life
in the mid-17th century. He became its leading lawyer – the
Recorder; its MP from 1646 to 1660; and its historian, being the
compiler, in 1654, of The Annalls of
Ipswiche, The Lawes Customes and
Government of the Same.
During the Civil War he was Chairman of the Eastern Association
Committee and a strong supporter of the Puritan cause. This made him
very important regionally and nationally as an administrator and
organiser during the War and the period of Commonwealth government,
although he was opposed to the execution of Charles I and to the
proclamation of the Commonwealth.
THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH (1727-1788)
32 Foundation Street.
The great Suffolk artist Gainsborough was born and educated in Sudbury,
where he has long been properly honoured with a statue on the Market
Hill. It is less well known that he spent seven formative years in
Ipswich, 1752-1759. After a few years of apprenticeship in London, he
had returned to
Sudbury in 1748 but he moved to Ipswich in 1752 because commissions for
portraits were more easily obtained here. He rented 34 Foundation
Street, a house similar to No 32 where the plaque is mounted. No 34 was
shamefully demolished in the early 1960s. As well as painting portraits
and landscapes in Ipswich, Gainsborough
was an enthusiastic member of the Ipswich Music Club. He played several
keyboard and stringed instruments. He moved to Bath in 1759; the
fashionable spa gave him more
opportunities for meeting and painting rich patrons. But it is
appropriate that Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich houses one of the best
collections of Gainsborough's paintings outside London, and that it
includes one of his finest works, the portrait of William Wollaston, MP
for Ipswich, playing the flute.
and next door:
JOHN GLYDE (1823-1905)
9 Eagle Street.
John Glyde is recognised as the foremost 19th century historian of
Ipswich and Suffolk, the author of books which are still standard
reference works on the social and economic aspects of the town and
county. A radical thinker, he was involved in many organisations
working for the social and cultural improvements of Ipswich, including
the founding of a Free Library for the town (see our Rosehill case study page for more on
the story of Ipswich libraries). His bequest of books and
manuscripts to the Ipswich Corporation in 1905
is now in the Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich. During his working life
he was a bookseller, an agent for domestic servants and a registrar of
and under the arch:
JEAN INGELOW (1820-1897)
2 Elm Street.
One of the most celebrated authors in Victorian times, Jean Ingelow's
fame declined to almost nothing during the 20th century, although there
is still a Jean Ingelow Society in America. However, she was one of the
best selling authors from 1850 until her death and was highly regarded
by such eminent authors as Tennyson and Ruskin. Her work included
poetry (the best known of which was A
High Tide on
the Coast of Lincolnshire, still widely anthologised in the
century), children's stories and novels, such as Off the Skelligs (most
of which is still very readable). Born in Lincolnshire, at the age of 14 she moved to
Ipswich when her father
became manager of the Ipswich and Suffolk Banking Company in Elm
Street. Living here for ten years in the spacious first floor rooms
over the bank she began her first experiments as a writer. After the
bank failed and the family moved out, the arch was created and Arcade
Street was built on the site of the Ingelows' garden.
"The Master's House",
19 Lower Brook Street.
King was born at 19/21 Lower Brook Street where his father, The Rev
John King, was Master of Ipswich (Grammar) School in that building.
William King became a physician, working in Brighton, but he is
celebrated as a founder of co-operative democracy. He created a
Co-operative Benefit Fund and a Co-operative Trading
Association. He also founded and wrote the periodical The Co-operator
(1828-1830) which helped to inspire the "Rochdale pioneers" of the
Co-operative Movement later in 1844. It seems fitting that in Ipswich,
where Co-operative retailing had – until the
closure of of almost all
of the town centre store in 2010 – held its own remarkably well, we
should acknowledge this pioneer of the social and philosophical
principles of Co-operation, even though this work was done after he
left Ipswich. The building on which this plaque is displayed was
originally known as The Preacher's House; the change of name came when
it became occupied by the Master of The Ipswich Grammar School,
forerunner of The Ipswich School on Henley Road. William King was the
son of one of the Masters, Rev. John King. At the time there was a high
wall in front of the house with a large yard/garden/playground (about
30 by 80 feet) at the rear stretching back to a rear gate opening onto
Foundation Street, opposite the rest of
the school in part of the
remaining Blackfriars buildings (in the first floor fomer friars'
dormitory, the refectory schoolroom having been demolished in 1766),
also Christ's Hospital School
and the Shire Hall. Dancing classes
were held on the upper floor of the Master's House. See the Christ's Hospital School page
for a sketch map of the area.
V S PRITCHETT (1900-1997)
41 St Nicholas Street.
The plaque simply calls V S Pritchett a "writer" because he excelled in
so many genres of writing that there wasn't room to specify! He is
regarded as arguably the finest English short story writer of his time.
He also published novels, travel books, literary criticism, reviews and
an absorbing autobiography, A Cab at
the Door, in which he explained
how his father, a London businessman in financial difficulties, lodged
with his wife over a toyshop at 41 St Nicholas Street. Here baby Victor
was born a century ago on 16 December 1900. The family returned to
Ipswich in 1910, living for a year in the
Cauldwell Hall Road area. Pritchett was
knighted in 1975 and was made
Companion of Honour in 1993. He died in 1997. The plaque records him as
"V S Pritchett", rather than "Sir Victor
Pritchett, CH", because that is how he signed himself as a writer and
is known to all his readers.
ROBERT RANSOME (1753-1830)
Old Foundry Road.
For the best part of two centuries, Ransome's
was probably the most
famous Ipswich name around the world — certainly as far as
manufacturing was concerned. Robert Ransome came to Ipswich from
Norwich in 1789 to set up an iron foundry, first briefly near St Mary
at Quay and then soon after in that year at St Margaret's Ditches,
Old Foundry Road, where the street name still commemorates the site.
The works, in time, stretched from Great Colman Street to Carr Street.
Still under family control after Robert's death, the foundry closed on
this site in 1849, moving to the dockside, and the firm eventually
became Ransomes Sims and Jefferies, making agricultural machinery,
lawnmowers, etc. Later another company, Ransomes and Rapier, was
created making heavy engineering products such as dragline cranes,
railway equipment and large sluice gates for dams. Robert Ransome was
one of a group of highly influential Quakers in the
town. He set up a fund for employees unable to work through sickness or
injury. He was also instrumental in bringing gas lighting to Ipswich,
installing a gasmaking plant in part of his foundry.
LESLIE BAREFOOT G.C.
The Walk (1938).
H.J. Leslie Barefoot G.C. was the architect of the small central
pedestrian shopping streets in the centre of Ipswich known as
Thoroughfare (the older of the two) and The Walk, the latter of which
is the site of his
plaque. Born in Dulwich he married in 1913 and served in The Great War
distinction. In 1920 he moved to Ipswich with his family and during the
inter-war period designed buildings throughout East Anglia, becoming
president of the Suffolk Association of Architects. Re-joining the army
in 1939 in the Royal Engineers he volunteered to form a new unit to
deal with unexploded bombs. The George Cross database indicates:
"During the early days of the blitz Major Barefoot, who was a pioneer
in bomb disposal dealt with some of the first unexploded bombs which
fell on Britain. He was able to put invaluable information at the
disposal of the authorities." His citation in 1941 for the George Cross
states: "for most conspicuous
gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner." He
was the first Army officer to receive the GC. He is also commemorated
by a plaque in Westminster Abbey together with the other recipients of
the George Cross. Below: it
is worth including here a dated '1885' rainhopper (51 years before The
Walk was built) –
complete with roosting pigeon – spotted in the lower
section. This is at the rear of the shop fronting
Butter Market which was for many years the Noble Romans pizza
but more recently a clothiers. The splendid neo-medieval carving and
fenestration by Henry Munro Cautley, which characterises The Walk, can
also be seen. Such dated rainhoppers
are gathered together on their own page. The builder of these
pedestrian ways was V. A Marriott.
EDITH MAUD COOK (1878-1910)
90 Fore Street.
Edith Maud Cook was born at 90 Fore Street on
1st September. She was a
balloonist, a parachutist and is stated, on the RAF Museum website to
have been the first woman pilot in the United Kingdom. Edith made
around three hundred balloon ascents and demonstrated the
use of parachutes over a period of ten years. After she learned to fly
in early 1910 she made several solo flights but did not obtain a
pilot's licence before July of that year. On 11th July 1910 as reported
in The Times: "Miss Viola Spencer (a
pseudonym) in a parachute descent at Coventry on Saturday, alighted on
a factory roof. The parachute turned over and Miss Spencer fell onto
the roadway injuring herself severely." She died on 14th July as a
result of her injuries. In her book Before
Amelia Eileen Lebow tells the remarkable story of the world's
pioneer aviators who braved the skies during the early days of flight.
At a time when the mere sight of ladies wearing trousers caused a
sensation Edith Maud Cook was one she praises as an adventurer and a
very courageous woman.
RICHARD DYKES ALEXANDER (1788-1865)
Alexander House, St Matthews Street.
The son of Dykes Alexander was a noted Quaker
banker, photographer and philanthopist of the town. Richard built his
on the corner of St Matthews Street and Portman Road; long empty, this
distinguished building was in 2009 extended and refurbished as flats.
When Richard Dykes Alexander made land available for housing in the
1850s he stipulated that some of the street names should be those of
JOHN HARBOTTLE (d.1577)
He was a rebellion leader.
The wealthy wool merchant and landowner was
Chamberlain in the town in 1542. In 1549 he was co-leader of the
Suffolk contingent of Kett's Rebellion.
LEONARD SQUIRRELL (1893-1979)
Squirrell was born
He studied art at
Ipswich School of Art 1908-1916 under George
Robert Rushton, then at
the Slade School of Fine Art in 1921 under Henry Tonks. Exhibited at
the Royal Academy, RWS, RI and RSA. Squirrell won a number of medals
for his etchings, a technique of which he was a master. His work is
held in many public and private collections, including the Victoria
& Albert Museum, British Museum and Fitzwilliam Museum in
Cambridge. His most famous painting is a view of the Wet Dock drawn from a vantage
point atop the gasometer.
SIR CHARLES SCOTT SHERRINGTON
The Ipswich School, Chapel wall, Henley Road
The English neurophysiologist, histologist, bacteriologist, and a
pathologist, Nobel laureate and, in the early 1920s, president of the Royal
Society was educated at The Ipswich School. He received the Nobel Prize
in Physiology or Medicine with Edgar Adrian, 1st Baron Adrian in 1932
for their work on the functions of neurons. Prior to the work of
Sherrington and Adrian, it was widely accepted that reflexes occurred
as isolated activity within a reflex arc. Sherrington received the
prize for showing that reflexes require integrated activation and
demonstrated reciprocal innervation of muscles (Sherrington's Law).
Sherrington entered Ipswich School in 1871. Thomas Ashe, a famous
English poet working at the school, served as an inspiration to
Sherrington. See our Street name derivations
for a note on Sherrington Road.
Next to this chapel wall is an entry to the public school with a carved
stone tablet: 'IPSWICH SCHOOL – MERMAGEN HOUSE':
Patrick Hassell Frederick Mermagen
(8 May 1911, Colyton, Devon – 20 December 1984 Ipswich, Suffolk) was a
public school teacher and cricketer who played eight first-class
matches for Somerset in 1930. He was headmaster of Ipswich School
Across the road is the Brett fountain
and lodge house. See also
our Curson Lodge page for further
photographs of Ipswich School.
FELIX THORNLEY COBBOLD (1841-1909)
This corner of Christchurch Park was
in a sorry state for many years
with the cabman's shelter which has been vandalised by fire wrapped up
in tarpaulins nearby. Built in 1892, the cabman's shelter which once
Cornhill, was in 1895 pulled by a seamroller to a site north-east of
the round pond, then ended up in 1995 burnt and neglected. In 2006 it
was virtually rebuilt
and re-erected close to the Westerfield Road entrance. In addition the
'green-roofed' Reg Driver Visitor Centre was been built in 2007 (it
the Cobbold blue plaque) and the Bolton Lane park gateway with its
stone pineapples and lodge house is a much more welcoming and
attractive way into our principal town park. Apparently it was not
possible to mount the plaque on either the Mansion or the Soane Street
gateway, for conservation reasons. Felix was the son of John Cobbold,
Member of Parliament for Ipswich, and his wife Lucy, daughter of
Reverend Henry Patterson. John Cobbold, Thomas Cobbold and Nathaniel
Cobbold (grandfather of Cameron Cobbold, 1st Baron Cobbold) were his
elder brothers. He was educated at King's College, Cambridge, and later
became a senior fellow of this college. Cobbold also sat as Member of
Parliament for Stowmarket in Suffolk between 1885 and 1886, and for
Ipswich between 1906 and his death. What else can be said about Felix
Thornley Cobbold which hasn't already been said? Arguably the ultimate
philanthropist (possibly W.F. Paul
is in the running) who has left his mark in many ways on the town: in
bought and presented to the town Christchurch
Mansion (gently twisting
the Borough's arm to save the surrounding parkland from housing
developers). He donated to Ipswich the land for St.
Clement's Baths (Fore Street Baths), a
clock and carillon for St. Clement's Church and 45 acres of Gippeswyk
Park plus cash for fencing. He even had a hand in the establishment
of Rosehill Library on the east
town (W.F. Paul was also a subscriber). Although coming from a
Conservative family (his father and two brothers had been Conservative
MPs), Felix showed his radical leanings by being elected Liberal MP for
Stowmarket in 1885 and Ipswich in 1906. He had already been Mayor of
Ipswich in 1897. The Cobbold Family History Trust (see Links) has funded a display of material inside
the Centre about Felix Thornley Cobbold. Incidentally, the Centre was
named after Reg Driver, the first Chairman of the Friends of
ARTHUR FREDERICK SAUNDERS
180 Cauldwell Hall Road
Arthur Saunders lived here at the time he was awarded the Victoria
Cross, the first such decoration ever awarded to the Suffolk Regiment
or a citizen of Ipswich.
We are indebted to The Ipswich Society for the bedrock of the
The excellent work of this organisation in
researching and recognising important as well as quirky buildings,
streets and people in the story of Ipswich is invaluable; evidence of
this can be found in the growing number of newly installed plaques for
which they raise funds. Go to their website
(see Links), click on the Plaques link, see
more images and download their leaflet on Blue Plaques.
OTHER PLAQUES (placed on buildings and
elsewhere over time
by a variety of bodies)
Mounted on the refurbished Holywells Stable Block:
'Civic Voice Design Awards 2016
Public Realm Category
The Holywells Park Project
an earlier cast iron plaque) Library window
The family of Geoffrey
21 Tavern Street (plaque is low on the right side wall
in Tower St). The Malyn family of Ipswich
and London, vintners, took
the name of
Chaucer, derived from the trade of leather working, with which they
were also associated. The Chaucer/Malyns including Geoffrey Chaucer's
grandfather, owned and occupied premises on this site in the 13th and
14th centuries. Geoffrey Chaucer is commemorated by a full-length
likeness, based on a 16th century portrait, in a stained glass gothic
window in the Reading Room of the Carnegie Library in Northgate Street
(known variously as Ipswich Library, Ipswich
Central Library and Ipswich
47 St Nicholas Street. Thomas Wolsey,
Cardinal of the Church, Archbishop of York and
for 14 years
Lord Chancellor of England for Henry VIII, was, next to King Henry
himself the most powerful man in the realm. The plaque, mounted on
Curson Lodge, a building of appropriate
age, reminds us that Wolsey's
boyhood home stood on a site on the opposite side of the street. His
birthplace is likey to have been in the parish of St Mary-At-Elms,
perhaps on the site of the Black Horse Inn.
This modern tablet set into the curved wall to the right of the
famous gateway is showing signs of the erosion which besets the gate
Much more on the Wolsey Gate on our Curson
FORMERLY SERVED THE
SCHOOL FOUNDED BY
WOLSEY FOUNDED IN 1528 BY THE
CARDINAL'S COLLEGE OF ST MARY'
Plaque in St
Clements Church Lane. Sir
Like a section from Finnegans
wake, this plaque on a
large stone obelisk near the west door of St
Clement Church, is
remarkably free of punctuation. Starting with the lower case 'near' and
trailing off with 'churchyard', the text is topped by an anchor symbol.
'near this spot lies buried
Sir THOMAS SLADE
(died Feb. 1771)
Sometime Surveyor to the Navy
who in that capacity was
responsible for the design of
His wife HANNAH lies with
her parents in the tomb to be seen
next to the west boundary of the churchyard'
The tiny Slade Street running
between Star Lane and Salthouse Street was, in the 20th
century, named after Sir Thomas Slade. According to N.
A. M. Rodger in The Command of the
Ocean: a naval history of Britain, 1649-1815: "The ships which
[he] designed...were admirably suited to Britain's strategic
requirements...By common consent, Slade was the greatest British naval
architect of the century...it was generally agreed (even by themselves)
that his successors, though competent designers, never matched his
[There is also an (almost unreadable) information plaque on the nearby
St Mary-at-Quay Church.]
Admiral Benjamin Page
13 Tower Street ("The Admiral's House"). The plaque on this building commemorates the
Ipswich-born admiral who
lived here on his retirement after a distinguished naval career. He was
made an honorary freeman of the borough in 1835. His portrait and
paintings of six naval actions in which he took part, which he gave to
the town, hang in the library room of the Town Hall. The house was
probably built during the reign of Charles II (1660-85), with the later
addition of a fine Georgian front. The interior is a mix of
architectural styles. Once the residence of Admiral Benjamin Page and
visited by the Duke of Wellington in 1820, it later became the home of
eminent local architect, John Shewell Corder (see our Scarborow page).
44 Fore Street. Born in Holland,
the artist settled in Ipswich after
the Second World
War, during which he was the official war artist to the Dutch
government in exile. He lived for some years on a boat in Ipswich dock,
finding inspiration particularly in dockside and river scenes, before
studio and home in Fore Street in 1962. Ipswich
contain some of his works. The commemorative blue plaques which people
recognise on London's buildings are installed and cared for by English
Heritage. Although some may assume that such plaques found elsewhere in
the country are also placed there by E.H., they are usually the work of
the local civic society. This accounts for the wide variety of
size, style and colour to be found in different towns and cities. The
Cor Visser memorial shown above was the first 'blue plaque' to be
installed in Ipswich and it was designed (based on the English Heritage
model) and funded by the late Brian Jepson, who lived at the house in
Fore Street. As a friend of the Ipswich Society (see Links), it was not a great
leap to use his design template and advice for the production of the
present series of 'Ipswich Society' blue plaques illustrated on this
page, which started to appear in 2001. Brian was Ipswich-born and
joined Johns Slater Haward arcitectural practice as an office boy,
training himself as an architect and finally working for the local
authority. He was a man of many parts, not least an excellent painter
of buildings and landscapes. He sadly died in 2014.
And lest we forget...
Northgate Street. Pykenham's Gatehouse opposite the County
Library was built in 1471 and
is famous for its Tudor brick front and half-timbered rear elevation.
It is almost all that remains of the former
Archdeacon's Palace (other parts are probably buried inside the
structure of the much-altered Ipswich & Suffolk Club). It was
restored by the Ipswich Building Preservation Trust in 1983, their
first ever project.
Beecholme, 129 Woodbridge Road
Another Ipswich Building Preservation Trust (see
Links) renovation of a sizeable
residential structure in a commanding position on the corner
with Lacey Street. They don't always mark their projects (see Trinity Lodge) and this particular
plaque is at the rear entrance to the building, off Lacey Street. See
also The Wrestlers, The Globe Inn, The
Half Moon & Star, Curson Lodge,
the nearby house at 1 Arthurs Terrace, also 163
Maritime Ipswich plaques
The Maritime Ipswich festival of 1982
marked a beginning of a slow, gradual rebirth of The Wet Dock of
(1561–1624, elsewhere listed as 'died 1622')
97 Fore Street (plaque on
the side wall facing east). Eldred was an
Ipswich merchant and mariner who sailed
Cavendish (also of Suffolk) on the second English circumnavigation of
the globe 1586-88: Drake's voyage 1577-80 having been the first.
Eldred's house has been demolished but the houses standing across the
street today remind us of the period and perhaps the style. See our Isaac Lord page for an unpainted version of
this plaque and a watercolour of
The Sailors Rest
8 St Peters Street. A fine late 17th
– early 18th century
red brick house with its name 'Sailors Rest'
and date above the front door.
80 Fore Street. Unique complex of merchant's buildings linking Fore
Street with the quayside, the earliest dating to about 1480. Also on
this page is the Neptune Inn Martitime Ipswich plaque.
81 Grimwade Street. The building with its extra-long dated
bressummer, bears an historic landmark plaque telling us that it was
called 'The Captain's Houses':
reputed to be the home of 17th century sea captains.
The Custom House
Common Quay. Built in
1844 by J.M. Clark, this classical building has been fully restored in
recent years. The New Custom House, now
the offices of Ipswich Port
Authority, was opened
in 1845. This is one of several plaques at this site. The Wet Dock, when it was opened
in 1842, was the largest area
of enclosed water of its kind in England.
See also the Maritime Ipswich
plaques on the Bistro on the Quay, Tooley's Court and The
This plaque reads:
'FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL THIS LAND
St Margaret's Green isn't very green.
St Margaret's Plain isn't
much of a plain. However, the street of that name is certainly a
street. These areas put together were known from the times of King Cnut
until the 19th century, as Thingstead, which is Danish for a meeting
place. They stand just outside the northern ramparts and North Gate of
the town. The above plaque stands in front of the former public house
The Saracen's Head, a 16th to 17th century timber-framed structure,
closed in 1960 to become a motor works with drive-in petrol pumps and
in the 1970s and 80s a Comet
electrical eqipment store; it is now a business centre. The area of St
Margaret's Green was, from the time of Holy
Trinity Priory, a
very fashionable place which was overlooked in the 17th and 18th
centuries by the houses of the gentry (including that bearing the
Nathaniel Bacon blue plaque, see above). Indeed some of these large
houses stand today. It was the meeting place of the parishioners of the
old Wicklaw hundred and, as we read above, the site of an important
fair. Several taverns served travellers and fair-goers: The Running
Buck, The Packhorse as well as The
Head were all nearby. In
the 1790s the Cobbold family lived on the Green, before the move in
1814 to their mansion in Holywells Park. In their employ was a servant
called Margaret Catchpole who gained notoriety and almost mythical fame
as Suffolk's leading heroine, who skirted the law on many an occasion
and stole and rode her master's horse to London, all in the cause of
HAS FORMED PART OF THE PLACE KNOWN AS
ST. MARGARET'S GREEN.
IT WAS THE SITE OF THE HOLY ROOD
FAIR ORIGINALLY GRANTED BY THE CROWN IN
THE 12TH OR 13TH CENTURY TO THE PRIORY OF
HOLY TRINITY WHICH STOOD ON THE SITE OF
THE PRESENT CHRISTCHURCH MANSION. UPON
THE DISSOLUTION OF THE PRIORY THE RIGHT
TO HOLD THE FAIR PASSED TO THE CROWN AND
EVENTUALLY TO THE WYTHYPOLL FAMILY. THE
IPSWICH CORPORATION'S CONTROL OVER THE
FAIR WAS CONFIRMED BY A CHARTER GRANTED
TO THE COPORATION IN 1665 BY CHARLES II.
THE FAIR, WHICH WAS HELD ON SEPTEMBER
25TH AND THE TWO FOLLOWING DAYS CONTINUED
IN THE 18TH AND EARLY 19TH CENTURIES. IT
WAS NOTED MAINLY FOR THE SALE OF CHEESE
AND BUTTER AND LATTERLY SAUSAGES AND
SWEETMEATS. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE FAIR WAS
LAST HELD ABOUT 1844.
ERECTED BY THE IPSWICH CORPORATION
HISTORIC WATERFRONT TRAIL
The sailing barge and ship's wheel cast in brass (?) by Crane Co. include a directional arrow indicating
the direction for walkers along the trail. This 'Historic Waterfront
Trail' seems to differ from the 'Wet Dock Maritime Trail' of 1982 and
1992. There are a number of these attractive, street-level plaques in
the town. This example is in Lower Brook Street.
CAST BY CRANE FLUID SYSTEMS'
Twinned with Arras
Much of Arras in northern France was devastated in World War I
rebuilt to the original architects’ designs including the distinctive
gables which give the houses surrounding the Grand Place such
character. The town was also the scene of fierce fighting during World
War II. Ipswich and Arras were twinned in 1993 and the paved area
outside the new Buttermarket Shopping Centre was named Arras Square to
mark the relationship. The two plaques shown above are attached to the
south wall of The Ancient House, close
to St Stephens Lane.
STANDS IN MEMORY OF
1935 ~ 2001
A CITIZEN OF ARRAS (FRANCE)
AND A TRUE FRIEND OF IPSWICH'
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throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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