Temple of Remembrance,
the crematorium and cemeteries
is lettered in relief, sans-serif capitals above the
main entrance beneath the curved portico. Although shaded, this is a
large and prominent sign on an interesting 1930s building by local
architect Sherman (see our Northgate Street
page for a liitle more on Sherman).
The Temple of Remembrance is Listed Grade II:
'Temple of Remembrance. 1935. Designed by J A Sherman. Red brick with
ashlar dressings and a copper dome. 2 storey. Square plan. Main facade
has central projecting curved portico with slender stone columns
supporting a flat roof. central double panel doors flanked by two
casement windows on either side, all with blind arched heads. Above 5
small square windows over the portico flanked by 3 similar windows on
either side. The remaining 3 facades are similar. Each with 3
narrow central windows to each floor, the lower row of windows have
blind arched heads. Either side on both floors are rows of 3 square
windows with raised brick surrounds. The central dome has 24 short
stone columns and 24 small casements supporting a shallow copper dome
with an elongated circular cupola with copper finial. Interior has a
series of marble lined rooms on the ground floor linked
by segmental arches. These rooms are lined with remembrance plaques to
those who have been cremated. It includes a foyer with memorial tablets
to those who died in the war.'
Ipswich Corporation's Burial Board laid out the large cemetery (now
known as 'The Old Cemetery') with both formal and natural elelments at
the end of Cemetery Road in 1855. It was extended across Belvedere Road
and Cemetery Lane to form 'New Cemetery' between 1921 and 1928 to
include a crematorium, advertised as being the only one at the time
between Leicester and London.
'The Burial Board already owned the land to the north of the cemetery,
which they leased to a football club, and in 1901 members of the Board
committee visited the renowned plant nursery Notcutts of Woodbridge to
select trees for planting the perimeter of the area. The work was
carried out by Notcutts who subsequently advised on the plan and
planting for an extension to the east of the main cemetery, and also on
the north extension, at which time the area to the south became known
as 'Old Cemetery'. Much of the planting was carried out well in advance
of New Cemetery opening in 1921. In 1928 a new chapel and crematorium
were added here, to designs by W.J.A. Sherman, architect and in July of
that year the Board were advertising it as the only crematorium between
Leicester and London. Ipswich Borough Council Parks subcommittee took
control of the cemeteries in 1946 and in 1969 a further extension was
added, again to the north, this area being given the name of the Lawn
Garden. The site remains (2001) a working cemetery, in public
ownership. ... In New Cemetery the principal buildings are the
Crematorium and the Temple of Remembrance. The Crematorium is built of
red brick with ashlar dressings and was erected by the Burial Board in
1928 to the designs of the architect W J A Sherman. It forms the focal
point of the main drives which extend from it to the north-east and
south-west.' [Extracts from the
The Old and New Cemeteries are Listed Grade II*.
Meanwhile in the more frequently used Crematorium chapel, also by
Sherman, we find a rather good Ipswich Borough coat of arms: compare with other versions. This relief is
mounted on the wall covered by the flat roof at the entrance to the
Field of Honour
This military burial ground lies towards the south of the old Victorian
cemetery, not far from the Cemetery Road entrance.
At the top of the narrow romanesque arch is a lion's head. Below: the
timber fieze bears the inscription:
LIVETH FOR EVER MORE'
with the serif'd capitals separated by 'decimal
points'. The figure of a knight in armour holding his shield is set in
a niche above.
The headstone just in front of the shelter (the back of which is shown
in the first photograph on the right) is shown here. It is unusual in
that it is inscribed at the top:
'BURIED AT ALDRINGHAM
A. B. BRIDGES
15TH APRIL 1915 AGE 27'
On the ring of the crest:
'MONTIS INSIGNIA CALPE
which, perhaps surprisingly,
means 'Badge of the Rock of Gibraltar' round the coat of arms of
Gibraltar; and on the scroll:
THE SUFFOLK REGT.
So Sergeant (here spelt with a 'j') A.B. Bridges of The Suffolk
Regiment was, presumably, killed on Gibraltar in the First World War,
his body was repatriated and buried at Aldringham in Suffolk – it can
be assumed that it was in the cemetery of the parish church – and is commemorated on this stone in the
Field of Honour at
Ipswich Old Cemetery.
This design of commemorative military headstone shown here is of
interest in itself. It is the work of Macdonald (Max) Gill (1884-1947),
brother of letter-carver and sculptor Eric Gill. In January, 1918 Max
joined the Imperial War Graves Commission Headstone Committee. As
lettering adviser, he was tasked with designing the alphabet and
regimental badges for the military headstone. His designs are still
used today and is instantly recognisable, whether in a small English
churchyard or in a large cemetery on the Somme. Some examples are
clustered together in the 'New Cemetery' to the north.
Gates to the old cemetery,
The gate supports in stone include two versions of the Borough coat of arms. The slightly odd, owl or
cat-like heads to the lion rampant on the crest shows that these have
had some restoration in the past, but the colour has not weathered
evenly – see also the tip on the ear of the Neptune's horse at left.
There are subtle differences between the two roundels, so they must
have been hand-carved, one would have thought. The overall style is
quite naive. The evidence for this is restoration is shown lower down
on the pillaster on the left-hand side:
Above right: the view of the gateway from the top of Cemetery Road. The
lodge at the right has gables and a decorative chimney stack, but is
otherwise rather plain, like a Victorian board school.
Comparing the upper parts of the gate supports indicates that the one
on the left has lost its finial and is suffering from verdigris from
the overhanging foliage.
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