Sailors Rest / Turret Green
this the "former Sailors' Rest public house"
at 8 St Peters Street, Ipswich, however, the references on the web are
more to a café for seamen. Neither Suffolk CAMRA, nor the Lost
Project (see Links) list it as a pub.
It is Listed Grade I. This fine building was saved from demolition in
1970. On the day of the inquiry, two committee members of the Ipswich
Society (see Links) jumped up and down on the
floors to demonstrate that, contrary
to what had been alleged, the building was not on the point of falling
The 'CUTLER ST.' cast iron sign
with its black relief outline is in a pleasingly aged and distressed
state in 2013. Other examples of this design/material can be found in Parliament Road, Upper Orwell Courts,
Northgate Street and Lloyds Avenue. From
Directory of Suffolk 1855: "William
Cutler, in 1620, left £100 to be laid out in land, of the yearly value
of £6, to be divided among three poor persons. The corporation laid out
this legacy in the purchase of a meadow, which they have added to the
Handford Hall Farm, out of which they pay the annuity of £6." See also Street name derivations.
The British Listed Building (see Links)
text: 'A fine late C17-early C18 red brick house with stucco quoins, a
and a fine carved wood modillioned eaves cornice. 2 storeys and attics.
7 windowrange, double-hung sashes with glazing bars, in flush cased
with flat rubbed brick arches and stucco projecting keystones. The
centre part with the doorway and one window above breaks forward
slightly and has narrow flanking windows. The centre window has a
shaped soffit. The 1st storey windows have brick aprons. A stucco band
runs between the storeys. A central 6-panel door with the upper panels
glazed is approached by stone steps and has a wood doorcase with fluted
and cabled columns on pedestals, and a pediment. Roof tiled.'
lettering above the front door is unmistakable:
The missing possessive
apostrophe can almost be forgiven by the fact that this place could so
easily have been demolished if it wasn't for the determination of the
Ipswich Society. Unthinkable in such a street of character and
importance in Ipswich history.
of Ipswich, whose old docks are now a leisure
marina, was the seventh most wealthy town in England in the 1520s. Its
ships sailed forth from the quays regularly to the Low Countries, to
France, Spain, Portugal, to Barbary in North Africa and to the mouth of
the Baltic. Ipswich ships worked in a thriving coastal trade. From
Ipswich to London they carried cereals, butter, cheese, plants and
seeds, returning with wine, imported fruits and tobacco, as well as
finished textile manufactures, of which items the town’s own
production was now in decline. The ships also braved the hazards of the
North Sea herring grounds. Even more daunting was their participation
in the Icelandic trade. Sometimes ships were wrecked, bringing
suffering and perhaps death to the sailors and hardship to their
dependants. In 1826 an appeal was published in the Ipswich Journal by
“The Ipswich Seamen’s Shipwrecked
performed its work of mercy until the mid-1930s; the 1700 building is
now “The Sailors’ Rest”.' Enough said.
Across the road from here is the vestigial Cobbold's
Ales & Spirits sign. And over the way, Curson Lodge and further up a plaque dedicated to V.S. Pritchett. Further
down the street is St Peter's Hall.
[UPDATE 9.12.14: John
Bulow-Osborne sends this interesting, undated (perhaps 1970s) high view
of Silent Street from above Cutler Street with the roof of The Sailors
Rest in the right foreground. It was possibly taken from the roof of St
Vincent House in Cutler Street.]
courtesy John Bulow-Osborne
John writes: "Just visible [bottom centre] on the grey facade, a
Skoda logo, part of the premises of H.O. Cox Car Sales. The Woolworth
name is also to be seen in the distance." The
double-fronted house which still stands on part of the site once
occupied by Curson House is to the left
of the Skoda garage. Behind it, a large red-brick church (see update
below) which was
demolished to make way for the current Serenius Court sheltered housing
blocks. Also prominent at lower left is the range of 15th century
gabled buildings which stretch up Silent Street from Curson Lodge on the corner.
Architecturally, the buildings form one of the best-known timber-framed
landmarks in the town. They were part of the accomodation associated
with Lord Curson's House on the opposite side of Silent Street. At top
of Silent Street can be seen the horizontal white lines of the GPO
sorting office (later moved to Commercial Road/Princes Street), above
that the towers of St Peter (with the red C&A store to thre right)
and St Margaret above that.
Turret Green Baptist Church
[UPDATE 10.1.14: "It is Turret
Green Baptist Church. The congregation moved in with Christ Church Tacket Street in the
1970s (hence the current Baptist/URC denomination) and the church was
demolished soon after. The former church in Turret Lane became the
Church Hall, and survives today as solicitor's offices. Simon" Thanks to Simon Knott for his encyclopedic
knowledge of Suffolk, and Norfolk, churches (see Links)]
See our Rose Lane page for a 1902 map
detail showing the two associated buildings.
courtesy The Ipswich Society
And above is a remarkable photograph of the demolition of Turret
Green Chapel in the 1970s from The Ipswich Society's Flickr collection
(see Links). The Turret Green Baptist Church
building opened in 1893 in Silent Street, was a very large brick
building consisting of nave, chancel and transepts resembling a
building of the established church. This had in turn superseded the
Chapel built in 1842; the latter was retained as the Church Hall. It
still stands today situated in Turret Lane. A 2014 photograph of the
existing building, the original chapel, can be seen on our Turret Lane page. In 1977, the declining
congregation of Turret Green Baptist Church sold their building, and
moved in with the Tacket Street congregation. The church became joint
URC/Baptist, and took on the name Christ
Church, after the former medieval friary nearby.
Green Court Sheltered Housing and Serenus Court, an
Abbeyfield Residential Care House, now occupy the site of the former
Turret Green Church:
Turret Green Court
church's name is perpetuated by flats in Silent Street
See our Rose Hotel page for a 1902 street map of the area.
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Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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