Vestigial lettering in Ipswich
52 Charles Street
This page includes some of the faint traces of public
to be found in the town. Once again, we include these because they
even though they may not be clearly readable at the screen resolution
on this website. Worry not: the signs are spelt out in the captions.
'H.H. NEARS LTD'
is over the central bricked
up entrance –
note the different
brick colour – with
on either side. The close-up
the central panel (below) reveals that the capitals had a drop-shadow,
albeit heavily over-painted. This feature appears to be missing on the
two outer panels.
Although the lettering is not visible in this 1989
from the now-demolished Charles Street multi-storey car park (The
is at the left on High Street); the coach access appears still to be
operation, with its large central entrance – now blocked – and a ramp
onto Charles Street.
Only a few yards from here is the Charles Street gate with
a plaque recording the donors.
Below: the H.H.Nears Ltd. sign in 2022: the central name sign is
emerging from the obliterating white paint.
24a Butter Market
Almost not there:
Largely covered by
paint, these ancient-looking characters are a ghost of previous
and previous lives. This example comes from the Butter Market, between
storey windows above the door to no. 24a.
22 Butter Market
[UPDATE 15.3.2020: 'Hi.
Really great website! I noticed this fragment of a beautifully painted
shop sign today. This is located above the lighting shop nearly
opposite Patisserie Valerie in Ipswich. I'd love to know what the sign
once said!? Richard Crosby. Thanks
to Richard for recording this. This surviving fragment shows the top
part of (proprietor) '& SON' – a nice decorative lettering style in
gold on black. Presumably, Buttermarket Lighting have removed the panel
– or the wind blew it off. More research needed by us.]
image courtesy Richard Crosby
The businesses across the road have their names refected in the
glazed surfaces. By 2020 they were Joules and Patisserie Valerie.
[UPDATE 19.6.20: Tim
Leggett sent these photographs now that the whole (partial) sign is
visible. Either 'Unnibell & Son' or
Nirell & Son'. Thanks to Tim for letting us know. The size of
the lettering and its closeness to top of the space strongly suggest
that there was a second line of text, probably giving the trade run
from these premises.]
2020 image courtesy Tim Leggett
[UPDATE 3.7.2020 (during
Covid-19 lockdown): ‘Just
a contribution which you may already know about re the sign under
Buttermarket Lighting: it may very probably be Frederick Charles
Hunnibell’s piano and fine art depot as mentioned in his father’s page
Artists (Charles Frederick Hunnibell). That page suggests
(and not having access to Suffolk Archives currently, I cannot verify!)
that he had a depot there for music, pianos and fine art from
1888-1892. I might spend some time looking into this in due course – I
am currently writing a dissertation on Beccles and Blythburgh for my
sins – not easy when so many records are not easily accessible
Cheers and kind regards - such a treasure trove of great information
you’ve kindly put together for us (and I really enjoyed your talk at
the Ipswich Building Preservation Trust last year). Chris Strang.’ This is a very convincing answer to the
conundrum of the (very) partial sign. The initial 'H' of
Hunnibell (plus, possibly, the proprietor's initials 'F.C') was painted
over – it is just visible to the left of the 'U'. In fact, on closer
inspection, you can make out the ghost of previous lettering behind the
decorative gold characters, visible on Tim's lower image. Many thanks
to Chris for the solution and his kind
21 Butter Market,
Butter Market Chambers
In the late, hot summer of 2023, a visit to this
charity shop – once Early Learning Centre, later Joules clothing –
resulted in the photographs shown here. The U-shaped emporium has a
shop-door on each side; in the crentre is a recessed porch giving
access to the upper storey.
is picked out in large-and-small capitals on the inside
of the 'borrowed light' upper window; the top line curves pleasingly in
an arc above 'Chambers'. Althought this lettering appears to be fairly
recent, there are traces of a blue background on the glass.
The double-doors below feature, on the right, two letter-boxes,
apparently anonymous. However, they have recessed lettering above the
apertures, now painted over:
For much more about Butter Market lettering, see our Ancient House page.
'RADIO WANTS' and
'CAFE ST LAWRENCE'
The left door's
letter-box is blocked over. It seems that there were once two (or
three) businesses above the shop at no. 21 Butter Market. Kelly's directories beckon...
Old Foundry Road
High above the street and on the side of
Old Foundry Road (now a restaurant - the new proprietor questioned the
as why he was photographing his property...). An area of red brick
above) which was presumably once covered by a sign and therefore not
cream bears the legend: '...Y(?) ROAD' and a possible '...LS' below it.
We wonder if it once read 'Old Foundry Mills'? It is certainly a tall
structure which once had teagle doors over the street. It really is
there. [UPDATE 21.8.2012: see
our 1881 map
of the Courts to show the site of a 'Corn Mill' here – indicated in
red on the map.]
Barnes of Ipswich in Upper
Orwell Street now has a page of its own.
Felixstowe Road/York Road
At the back of Lamden Gallery and framing/art shop at
Road (several shops knocked into one) is this mysterious cartouche, now
obliterated by fawn paint: the more recently built flat-roofed
extension unfortunately made this operation easy. Ghosts of characters
are visible, but no words readable as yet. This sign faces up York
Road to draw attention to what? A grocer, tobacconist, ironmonger at
the corner shop of yore? Or just possibly, another Tolly Cobbold off licence?
See our new (2013) page Burroughes Bros
devoted to this sign now that the words have become clearer.
See the Cobbold's sign in St Peters Street
for an even more vestigial sign, similar to the Globe
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throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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