Sudbury

Sudbury is an ancient Suffolk market town which has had substantial wealth and status in the past and this is reflected in the fine buildings, many kept in excellent  condition. Here we must gratefully acknowledge the book 'Sudbury Suffolk: the unlisted heritage' by David Burnett where almost all of the fine (unlisted) structures in the town are carefully photographed and documented See our Reading List for details.  Naturally, a rich heritage often means that interesting lettering survives.

'SEWAGE PUMPING STATION
CORPORATION OF SUDBURY
REFUSE DESTRUCTOR WORKS'
Let's not forget the date '19...03' set either side of the circular window at the top, festooned with curlicue brick stretchers - or are they decorative motifs?. The refuse works with its large chimney is long gone, but this Sewage Pumping Station survives in Ballingdon Street.
Ipswich HIstoric Lettering: Sudbury1ai ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 1aii

In Station Road are warehouses belonging to 38 Market Hill, probably built around 1840.  The trading sign painted on the decaying bricks:
'WHITBREADS [?] BOTTLED ALE & STOUT'
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 2i

38 Station Road features the former engineering works of Barton & Co. which became 'Brunton Propellors Limited' (as shown on the screw-on lettering below) during World War I.
'ENGINEERS' is painted on the upper strip and may be laying on a painted strip covering earlier lettering. Barton & Co. are celebrated all over the town lettered into cast iron fittings such as the cellar grille of the former public house next door, drain covers and on the railing plates surrounding the cricket ground in Friars Street.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 3i

The white brick facade at 54-55 Station Road and was built in 1867. To prove it, there is lettering on the stone lintel over the doorway to the left of the street elevation:
'FREE PRESS OFFICE 1867'

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury Free Press 18672014 image
'SUFFOLK
AND ESSEX
FREE PRESS'
with chiselled caps for the top two lines and large and small caps for the third, centred and positioned (rather high) in a decorative brick cartouche.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 4bi   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 4bii2014 slightly enhanced image
It is difficult enough photographing this building at all, but standing in the middle of a very busy road accounts for the slightly odd framing of the 2014 close-up. It is clear that the chiselled characters were in-filled with black paint, albeit now weathered away in the lower lines.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 4biiiThe central shields representing the two counties
The first issue of The Suffolk and Essex Free Press came out on 5 July 1855 and continues to the present. It began as Free Press and General Advertiser from 30 August 1855-12 June 1856, then as The West Suffolk and North Essex Free Press from 20 January 1949-26 November 1981;it then became The Suffolk Free Press.

'GREGORY MILLS'
in decorative caps with a full stop announces the Sudbury Silk Weaving Company's whereabouts, built in 1912. It became Vanners and Fennell in 1924 and is still in business in Gregory Street.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 5i

'VICTORIA HALL
1887'
in Prince Street is an important part of the intellectual life of Sudbury. The cast iron plaques have raised surrounds and the impressed serif'd caps are picked out in black paint, as are the centred dots on each side.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 6bi

'18... A.P ...33'
carved into this interestingly shaped detail on the corner of 65 North Street. 'A.P' stands for Ambrose Prentice, Grocer and Tea Dealer - the original proprietor.
  Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 7i

'AD ... 1886'
in roundels and leaf decoration on the former adorn the Masonic Hall in North Street, built in 1886. The characteristic mason's dividers and inverted square rest on a ceremonial cushion, all made of white stone, are flanked by the terra cotta letters and numerals. A similar configuration of letters and date occurs in Aldeburgh, on a Co-op building and Morpeth House in Ipswich. An intriguing masonic device similar to that below is seen with a very early date on a building in Needham Market.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 8i

'THIS WALL
WAS BUILT
AFTER THE FIRE
1890'
The fire occurred in Grimwood's builders yard and workshop in Church Walk, which was relocated to Weavers Lane (where Weavers Court now is). Grimwoods built the appropriately named Phoenix Brewery on the site and the plaque set into the wall commemorates the fact.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Sudbury 9i

Here in Market Square is a fine example of a proudly named building serving an entirely different purpose. Topped by farm workers with sickle and flail and surrounded by sheaves of wheat looking like flaming torches in stone is the name tablet: 'CORN EXCHANGE'; now, of course, it is the public library.
Historic signs: Sudbury 11
Five minutes walk and, between the shopfronts, we come to one of those postmodern entranceways into nothing:
'FOUNDED 1747
S GREGORY & S PETER SCHOOLS'
Historic signs: Sudbury 12
The stonework is very worn in places (particularly around the date).
Historic signs: Sudbury 13
St Peter’s Church on nearby Market Hill is first documented in 1180 as a chapel of ease to St Gregory’s, Sudbury’s oldest church, but the present building is later. A chapel of ease serves the more distant congregation and is governed by the mother church, but this role sat unhappily on St Peter’s which became the centre of its own unofficial parish. This must be the source of the dedication of the school (or 'schools'). St Gregory CEVCP School still exists in Church Street and is a voluntary-controlled school. These schools were originally provided by the Church of England and educational trusts. They have religious links but Suffolk County Council now decides the policy for admissions.

Between the bus and the railway stations stands a former hotel with this obcure lettering high on the side wall:
'GREAT
EASTERN'
withe initials 'R' and 'K' built into the ground floor walls in  yellow bricks.
Historic signs: Sudbury 15-Historic signs: Sudbury 16

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2004 Copyright throughout the Ipswich Lettering website: Borin Van Loon
No reproduction of text or images without express written permission