Plough Street: smallest street in Ipswich

A big claim, but Plough Street off Fore Hamlet wipes out competition from Pleasant Row (off Smart Street).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Plough Street 1
Running beside the Gardeners Arms public house, the line of Plough Street is, in 2017, bordered by Venue 77, a music venue attached to the pub.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Plough Street 2
The Borough clearly decided that this thoroughfare, all ten yards or so of it (and having no residences or businesses fronting it), deserved its own street nameplate. Quite touching, really. The line of the old street carries on past the gates with industrial units behind.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Plough Street 3
The 1902 map of the area shows a somewhat longer street here, with its cul-de-sac close to the kilns of  'Trinity Brick Works'.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Plough Street map 11902 map
Perhaps Plough Street was named after one of the most numerous products of the Ransomes Simms & Jefferies engineering works nearby? Perhaps a bit speculative for our Street name derivations list.


The detail below shows the italic 'P.H.' (shown in blue) for the public house with a wide yard (still in evidence today – see the above photographs) funneling down to the narrow Plough Street and lined, in 1902, on either side by small terraced cottages with rear yards and perhaps workshops at the far end to the east. The cottages fronting Fore Hamlet to the west of the public house (shown in red) have today gone and the land is given over to the car park. The narrow terraced cottages, six in number and fronting Fore Hamlet and between Plough Street and Cavendish Street (shown in green), have gone making wider jaws of Cavendish Street for modern vehicle access. Densities of working class housing in 1902 are, as ever, striking.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Plough Street map 31902 detail
The Gardeners Arms (from the Suffolk CAMRA website):
'The fact that this pub is listed from 1881 as the "New Gardeners Arms" suggests that the building dates from about that time, replacing a different building of the same name located somewhere nearby (probably on the other side of road), which closed in 1880. It was also still known as the New Gardeners Arms as late as 1928. It closed as the Gardeners Arms in 1994, when the building became an off-license warehouse. In the 1970s it had a reputation as a bikers' pub. In the mid 1990s, after closure, it was used as an off-licence warehouse for several years and was called Mr Wines & Beers. Sadly, the original bar counter & back bar were sold off and are now fitted in an American bar. Listed at 75 Fore Hamlet by 1888.' Today's Gardeners Arms frontage is 'L'-shaped with further building to the rear and it seems likely that this frontage dates from the 1920s/1930s, replacing the more rectangular pub building shown on the map.

Other features noted from the 1902 map: across Fore Hamlet from Plough Street we see the northern ends of Wykes Bishop Street and Albion Street (both having extant road signs). Both have been closed off and the modern building housing 'The Orwell Centre: home of the Hope Church' marks the position of the two roads where the vehicle entrances are at each end. Myrtle Road (not shown here) slightly to the east still exists and marks the change from Fore Hamlet to Bishops Hill. The 'Inn' labelled on the map on the south of Fore Hamlet (next to a Post Office) is the Myrtle Inn, formerly the Blooming Myrtle Tavern (closed 1936) which gave its name to Myrtle Road. Apparently there was once a 'Myrtle Tap' on Bishops Hill.



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