Ransomes' Orwell Works site
The car park which occupies the site between the eastern quays of the
Wet Dock and Duke Street (south of the Neptune Marina block – see
our Wet Dock map if you're confused)
apparently owned by University Campus Suffolk and in 2013 is on the
back burner for further development of the university. This gives us
the chance to see the remnants of the Ransome's
Orwell Works: one of the greatest engineering works
in Ipswich – if not Britain and beyond. Almost everything to be found
is at ground level, visible amongst the uneven patchwork of concrete
Industrial archaeology is normally covered in some way, but the
merest remnants of the Orwell Works are being walked and driven upon
every day. Here is the only piece of historic lettering found:
It was certainly tempting to
think that the bottom number was a date (1908), but close inspection
shows the '3' pretty clearly (see close-ups below).
Sections of end-grain wood block flooring.
Distressed internal wall of the Ransome works. A thick steel sheet
almost covering a man-hole.
Clear evidence that the tramway came right inside the works. See
the criss-crossing tramway lines preserved on the 'The
island'. Many ground level features there, too.
'I' and 'U' section iron girders set into the concrete, then later cut
off at ground level.
Traces of iron surrounds partially covered by patchwork concrete.
And what on earth is this rusting iron oblong on a chunk of
crumbling concrete? Decorated with 'hi-viz' safety tape for the summer
White's map of Ipswich 1867; the
detail below shows the extent of the Ransomes Sims & Jefferies
Orwell Works site at the height of the Industrial Revolution. The
gasworks, site of today's Maude Street and Patteson Road, is south of
Orwell Works. Interestingly, the dockside we now call Helena Road is a
treed area labelled 'Marine Promenade East', while many people will
know about the the tree-lined walk on the Island, south of the first
lock (still in existence in 1867), here lebelled 'Marine Promenade West'.
The only other lettering connected to Ransome's
is to be found not far away in Wykes Bishop Street.
See also a page containing images of Ransome
You can see more ground-level elements of maritime Ipswich on the northern quays page and on 'The island'.
Please email any comments and contributions by clicking here.
throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
No reproduction of text or images without express written permission