Bishops Hill / Upland Gate, Mitre Way, The White Elm, Rosehill Crescent

The wall with a built-in road sign
Leaving the town centre from the Duke Street junction, Fore Hamlet starts to rise quite steeply. The retaining wall to the left of the road (pictured below) holds back the raised gardens as one reaches the top of Bishops Hill (just before it becomes Felixstowe Road). This area was clearly a desirable spot, sitting opposite the corner entrance of Hollywells Park and looking over the docks and Orwell basin. The ancient hub of the old town has been described as dish-shaped around the entrance made by the great Orwell river. The combination of deep clays and green sands results in water percolating up from springs, filtered and cleaned and being unable to soak back through layers of clay. The springs used to flow freely down the sloping streets towards the Wet Dock (hence Spring Road - the surrounding streets still witness natural flows of water under brick walls and through tarmac, The Wash – Upper & Lower Orwell Streets– and Stepples Street. – now Orwell Place).

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishops Hill 62014 image
There is a large house and garden behind and above the two-colour brickwork wall shown. The house is accessed by a looping, sloping drive below the lettering labelled '39, UPLAND ... GATE'. This seemed a rather arbitrary name, but it does appear on an 1883 OS map of the area. This road is now inflicted with fast moving traffic; it is doubtful whether many passers-by notice the lettering. The long diamond patterning in the brick (diaper-work) stretching up this ancient wall suddenly becomes:
though shaded by overgrowing ivy when originally photographed in March 2001:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishops Hill 72001 image
This has since been trimmed, making the lettering more noticeable.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishop's Hill 5   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishop's Hill 32014 images
The Bishops Hill brickwork is Listed Grade II:
"Boundary wall, gatepiers and gate. c1863. By Hine and Evans for CA Biddell, director of Ransomes of Ipswich. Red brick with burnt brick diaper work. Iron and wood gatepiers and iron gate. Battered retaining wall approx. 2 metres high with a deep frieze and diaper work in burnt headers along the entire length to Bishops Hill which name it also incorporates in burnt headers. Single large iron gate to entrance drive is filled with lattice work and is supported on slim piers with spiked metal ball finials. Forms a group with Upland Gate (qv). "
Now, 'q.v.' means 'which see', until 2019, we hadn't been able to find a Listing text for Upland Gate itself (scroll down)...

The gate
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Upland Gate 1a
2018 image
Above: the left-hand gatepost with hand-lettering 'UPLAND' on the edge of the coping and a rather brutal '39' in whitewash beneath. It would be good to sympathetically clean the brickwork and restore the spiked ball finials.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Upland Gate 12016 images
It's interesting that the Nottingham architects who designed the house have the attribution for the gates. It seems logical that Biddell would have commissioned
their manufacture, from the Hine & Evans design plans, in cast and wrought iron from his own foundry at Ransomes Sims & Jefferies' Orwell Works sited below the house on Orwell Quay (formerly Ransomes Quay).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Upland Gate 2

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Upland Gate 3
Below is a photograph of the wall in 2010: the overhanging shrubs have almost gone, but the algae on the upper brickwork makes legibility difficult. The enhancement below makes things a bit clearer.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishop's Hill 12010 image
However, it was not always thus. The postcard from about 1905 (below) shows that Bishops Hill was considerably narrower then with no pavement on the side which concerns us here. The tram makes its way up the centre of the incline towards its terminus at The Royal Oak public house, Felixstowe Road  at the junction with Derby Road, while dog-carts and horse traffic fit into the spaces at the sides. The 1921 widening may have involved demolition of the retaining wall and a decorative rebuild avec lettering involving some loss of gardens to the properties. However, despite the fact that the brickwork diaper pattern and lettering don't appear to be visible on this image, it is not conclusive that the wall was not original. Perhaps it is more likely that the left-hand side of the road was pushed back. The Listing text shown above clearly states the date of the wall as c.1863.
More on the history of Ipswich tramways.

'Uplands' [No wonder we couldn't find the Listing when searching for 'Upland Gate'.]
'TM 14 SE    BISHOPS HILL (North side) 642/12/10078    No.39, Upland gate 11.02.2000 II
House. 1863 by Hine & Evans for CA Biddell, director of Ransomes of Ipswich. Red brick laid in Flemish bond, with snapped headers creating cavity walls; slate roofs. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys, north front is 3- window range. Central half-glazed door with one 1/1 unhorned sash right and left. String course at first floor. Central arched staircase window with margin glazing; twin 1/1 unhorned sashes to the right and one 3/3 unhorned sash to the left. All openings except staircase window with artificial stone lintels and sills. Cornice with banding of burnt headers. Twin hipped roofs. West front with canted b[a]y to right on both storeys, and a projecting bay to left. Between them is a c1870 conservatory with cast-iron standards and brackets, and a cast-iron balustrade. C1880 timber extension to left. First floor with central French windows to balcony, one 2/2 unhorned to canted bay and a similar arched window to projecting bay, with timbered hood. Datestone above: 1863 CAB. South front with full-height canted bay to left, with alternate facets fitted with 2/2 unhorned sashes to first floor and 1/1 unhorned sashed to ground floor. Projecting bay to right with ground-floor Venetian window, with columns terminating in daisy capitals. First-floor string course, and an arched 2/2 unhorned sash to first floor. Stack to south front, 2 stacks on north east plane and a transverse ridge stack to west front. INTERIOR: main entrance to west, through doorway arranged as a Venetian window, with columns with daisy capitals. 6-panelled pine door. Entrance hall and staircase hall retain original coloured encaustic tiles to floor. Open-string staircase with turned balusters and ramped and weathered handrail. 6-panelled doors throughout ground floor, with door furniture intact. Half-glazed doorway to rear (north) lobby. Octagonal drawing room at south-west. Marble chimneypiece with consoles below mantelshelf. Bell pulls right and left in working order. Plaster vine trail to cornice. Venetian window to south with panelled rising shutters. Brass picture rails. Arched display alcove in north-east facet of room. Square dining room to east. Marble chimneypiece with scrolled consoles below mantelshelf, arched register insert, and bell-pulls right and left. Window with panelled side shutters and exposed sash weights hung on external pulleys. Larder, storeroom and kitchen with shelving and cupboards. Tiled scullery east of kitchen. Back lobby with wash basin and toilet at west end, with enclosed cistern and sanitary ware. Staircase window with sash weights exposed, in form of cast-iron stacking bobbins. First floor rooms with 4-panelled doors. Toilet with fittings dated 1907.'
Above: the Listing text for the house (first listed in 2000) which appears to be called 'Uplands' here, but then calls it: '
No.39, Upland gate'.

Apparently, there is a 'Datestone above: 1863 CAB' on an original timber extension to the house. 'CAB' stands for the first owner: C.A. Biddell of Ransomes Sims & Jefferies heavy engineering company, then based below the house at the Orwell Works. The datestone confirms the date of completion of the house and grounds: 1863.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Upland Gate map 1900s1900s map
Above: site map of the house and grounds, clearly showing the tramway up the centre of Bishops Hill, so it may have been drawn in the early 1900s, after electrification.

Below: a detail from Edward White's 1867 map shows Bishops Hill and Holy Wells.  For a larger detail from the same map, see our Cavendish Street page. It shows that Fore Hamlet was called '[Wykes] Bishops Hamlet' at this time. Wykes Bishop Street itself appears at the top left as a side-road from this thoroughfare, running parallel with Albion Street – it is now, of course, a mere stump of a street off Duke Street. Here it delineates the south-western boundary of Ransomes Orwell Works, showing the relative proximity of Mr Biddell's 1863 house up the hill from it (although it doesn't appear to be delineated particularly accurately on the map). To the east is 'Windmill Street', later part of Rosehill Road and even later Rosehill Cresent. The road up the hill, which today we know as Rosehill Road is here labelled 'St Helens Road' – when the Rev. Nottidge built his Trinity Vicarage here in the following year, it was called 'Vicarage Road' (see our Rosehill case study page) –with speculative extension to a junction to an extended 'White Elm Road'. Given the very steep hills here (indicated by contur lines on the map), it would have been surprising if this had ever been achieved. Eventaully, of course, Rosehill road went north from the top of Bishops Hill, then curved eastwards around the top of the steep hill (the houses here have steep alleyways down from the road with even steeper gardens behind), eventually to junction with Allen Road, eventaully to meet Tomline Road and Derby Road. Rose Hill (later Rosehill House) which gave the area its name, is shown in almost solitary splendour at the upper right. South of it we see the Cobbold's Holywells House in its extensive parkland, later Holywells Park. At the far left we see that today's Holywells Road was in 1867 labelled 'Cliff Road' – a name now given to the road which links Patteson Road with Cliff Quay.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishops Hill map 18671867 map

Upland Gate, 39 Bishops Hill and Bishopsgarth, Rosehill Crescent
"On the subject of views across town, ... we looked at the big house that's hidden on the left as you go up Bishops Hill. It's listed but was in a real state (hence the asking price that we could afford). The house was being sold by an elderly twin, his brother had died and they had lived there as recluses since birth. The place was tatty, but it was a beautiful example of Georgian architecture, loads of great detailing and original fittings that hadn't really ever been touched, particularly the shutters in the dining room - quite something. Anyway the view from the garden across the town was stunning taking in the docks and the whole of the centre of the town. We didn't buy it in the end as we could afford the house on its own but would have had to forego food and water for a few years after (to carry out renovations).

(The house has) listed status, I seem to recall the council were involved at the time and the owners wanting to ensure the house was only sold to people with the money to restore it. If I were you I'd wander up that driveway and knock on the door. To add a further twist, the remaining twin knew my late Grandfather (well, my Mum's, Mum's second husband who was always our Grandpa as far as we were aware) Noel Turner who was partner in Garrod, Turner & Son, Fine Art Auctioneers, he was involved in the collection of paintings by Suffolk artists they had up there, it was all on the wall when we looked round..."
Our thanks to Justin Kibble for this account.

This rather raw detail from the 1930 map of Ipswich shows Bishops Hill and, left of centre that curling drive leading uphill to Upland Gate (marked in blue). It is clear that in 1930 another large house (marked in red) stood near to the corner of Bishops Hill and Rosehill Crescent – the site of today's Bishopsgarth flats. Also clear is the north-south boundary which includes the eastern Upland Gate house wall which divides the land from the corner plot.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Upland Gate map1930 map detail
This boundary still exists and can be traced on the aerial view shown above. It is visible from Rosehill Crescent between the Bishop's Garth flats and number 3 (below). The Upland Gate roof level shows the steep drop in the land on Bishops Hill.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Upland Gate viewView from Rosehill Crescent

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Upland Gate view2021 image
Above: the house can be glimpsed from the top end of the diaper walling (see the close-up at top); the Bishops Garth flats are behind the trees to the right.

Bishopsgarth, 1 Rosehill Crescent
Thanks to the photograph, below from the collection of John Harvey we can finally see Bishopsgarth, the house, through the original gateposts. Rather a fine house it looks, too. The close-ups reveal that the name of the house (picked out on stone pads on both brickwork posts) as 'BISHOPSGARTH' – all one word. Also that the house acted as the headquarters of the Suffolk & Ipswich Fire Service up to 1964: the date of the photograph. The new Birkin Haward-designed headquarters building on the Fire Service site on Colchester Road replaced these offices in December 1964. John tells us that the next occupants of Bishopsgarth were the Water Board. (Incidentally, work began to demolish
Colchester Road Fire Station to make way for housing in July 2012, having closed in the previous October, when new premises were opened on Ransomes Europark). Looking at the walling and brick pillars on Rosehill Crescent today, it seems clear that the original capstones were removed, the heights of walls and posts reduced (removing the lettered stone pads) and the capstones replaced. The rise in the ground from the entrance is today replaced by steps up to the flats.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishopsgarth 1
1964 images courtesy John Harvey – now part of the Ipswich Society Image Archive

Below: a comparative 21st century photograph:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishopsgarth 62017 image

The framed notice to the left, in a similar position to the Fire Headquarters sign, reads:

FLATS 1 TO 15'
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishopsgarth 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishopsgarth 2
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering Suffolk. It was formed in 1948 as the Suffolk & Ipswich Fire Service, before changing after the 1974 Local Government Review to 'Suffolk Fire Service'. Following the 2004 Fire & Rescue Services Act, the service name was changed to Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service to better reflect its role.

Below: Rosehill Crescent, uphill from the Bishops Hill junction, the right-angled bend towards Montrose at the right. The short Victorian terrace of houses (3-5 Rosehill Crescent) can be seen above the foliage. The gable (apparently 'timbered' in 1964) is above number 3.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishopsgarth 4
1964 images courtesy John Harvey – now part of the Ipswich Society Image Archive
Below: the view in the 21st century; the manhole cover in the right-hand pavement is still in position opposite the Bishopsgarth entrance. The small window in the side wall of the first house in the terrace, number 3, which is visible through the trees in the 1964 photograph is present and visible (though obscured in this photograph) today.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishopsgarth 5

Life in Rosehill Crescent in the 1950s and 1960s
1.7.202: ‘I have been reading with fascination about the area around Bishops Hill. I lived in Rose Hill Crescent from about 1950 ’til the late 1960s and my parents continued to live there (at no 7) until well into the 2000s.

The large house – number one – was known to us as the Auxiliary Fire Service. I never remember any fire engines etc. there. It appeared to be offices only.
The Montrose was a day nursery when I lived there and, most weekdays, an army of nurses would walk their charges in massive perambulators with toddlers in tow, down Rose Hill Crescent (three separate words in those days) and across Bishops Hill to Holywells Park. The Matron lived in a flat on the top floor. The Crescent was lined with lime trees, clipped to within an inch of their life every year. Every evening, a man with a bike and a long ladder arrived to light the three gas lamps and each morning he returned to extinguish them. He would climb his ladder to light the lamps, but I believe in the mornings he just had to pull a little chain to put out the flame. In the early days the road was made of orange coloured gravel, and had a really high camber in the middle.

From a bedroom window at the back of the house could be seen the traffic on London Road, near where Thompson and Morgan’s was then [Crane Hill]. Over the fence at the side of number seven was a garden which I loved to look at. It was the kitchen garden for the Montrose nursery and was immaculately laid out complete with a gardener and a glass house. The neighbours at number five were Mr and Mrs Norman. Mr Norman was a 'chemist' and his shop was half way up Bishops Hill on the right hand side going up.

Tradesmen were a-plenty and the bread delivery came with a woman in a little van. She came down the side passage with an enormous basket and my mother would choose a loaf. The coalman also came along the passage, and half-way along was a metal round cover which he would open and pour the bags of coal down – straight into our cellar. Clouds of dust!! The only fishmonger I remember was the seller of sweet shrimps by the pint, on his bike with a large basket at the front, just at certain times of the year. There was a grocer’s van too: red with a white horse, from the Co-op. The dustbin man used to run down the side passage and down the garden to the bin. It went on his shoulder and would be emptied and then he ran back with it empty. There were about six men on the truck. There was never much rubbish, and it was really mostly dust, or actually ash, from the fire. Anything else, my mother wrapped well in old newspaper, and scraps went to the chickens. I was always terrified by the pair of horses which came with coal for the town. I think it was Isaac Lord’s, from the yard next to Derby Road railway station, and two heavy horses pulled the loaded dray down Rose Hill Road, then Rose Hill Crescent, then turned right on to Bishops Hill. Just before turning onto Bishops Hill, they would stop and the driver would place a couple of large wooden wedges behind the wheels before encountering the hill – this acted as brakes!

The buses on Bishops Hill were trolley buses. Number four went straight on along the Felixstowe Road, but numbers 2a and 2b had to turn right onto Nacton Road. For this turning the trolley would stop and the conductor had to alight and with a long-handled piece of equipment, would change the points of the overhead power lines. On the junction was a great big trough of water for the horses, but I don't ever remember seeing it used or filled.

I hope you will be able to use some of this information. Happy memories. Yours, Ruth Fisher.’ Many thanks to Ruth for such detailed recollections. She has confirmed that the small wooden shop still seen half-way up Bishops Hill is indeed Mr Tom Norman's chemist's shop which she mentions.]

The former chemist's shop run by Mr Norman, who lived next door to Ruth Fisher in Rosehill Crescent, can still be seen on Bishops Hill. The small driveway at left runs up behind the row of 1930s houses on their ridge. The backs of the houses on Myrtle Road can be seen to the right. The shop would have stood almost opposite The White Elm public house. Scroll down for a little more information about Montrose (under 'Researching the area') and The White Elm.

The Mason family
25.10.2015: "I've been doing our family tree, and to cut a long story short, I was looking for the house that my husband remembered visiting as a child. It was Upland Gate and was owned by my husband's Great Aunt Elsie Ellen (née Wheeler) Mason, who was married to Henry Freeman Mason. Widowed, she lived there with two of her four sons (all four boys grew up there). Two of the sons, Richard and Ivan lived with Elsie and never married. Richard Mason went on to be an artist. My husband remembers that Upland Gate was run down, overgrown, dark, spooky (certainly to him as a child) and 'smelled funny'. There were sculptures of various sorts dotted about the grounds and he found the place somewhat unsettling, although his mother has fond memories of visiting her aunt there.

Looking for images of the house, I found your article about the lettering along the boundary wall and following the link. As I had only just spoken about the house, I found it very interesting that your contributors description and my husband's were so similar. Do you know if the house still exists, or has it been demolished by the ever-grabby land developers? Many thanks for preserving the local information, I found it fascinating...

We live in Colchester, so I usually only visit Ipswich when shopping with my daughter or going to the Regent. I should get up there more often and have a wander around for fun. My husband (and his mother!!) is the one with the local knowledge. His great grandfather, Henry Ernest Wheeler (Elsie Ellen Wheeler mentioned earlier was one of his daughters), ran a bakery at 28 Great Colman Street (now a Rio Brazil café). His son, Godfrey (my husband's grandfather) delivered the bread from the bakery to their customers. He grew up to become a skilled confectioner and my mother-in-law vividly remembers being smacked for taking one of her father's expensive chocolates from his shop when she was about 5 years old (1929).

Here is a photograph of Elsie Ellen Wheeler later Mason. You have my permission to include the contents of these emails on your Ipswich page, we would be delighted to have helped preserve a little local history. I had no idea when I moved here with my job many moons ago, and met my husband in 2004, that half of my own family also lived half an hour up the road!! I look forward to hearing any further news should you uncover anything new.
Kind Regards, Nicola Tuffley" Many thanks to Nicola for the information and particularly for the striking family portrait – we don't feature people's faces on this website very often as we deal with structures, objects, architecture, local history and so on. It is good to have a glimpse of the 'real people' about whom Ipswich Historic Lettering is really about.]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Elsie Ellen WheelerPhotograph courtesy Nicola Tuffley
Elsie Ellen Wheeler (later Mason), born 1887.
See mention of Mrs Mason in the following update.

Why 'Bishops Hill'?
The answer is given on our 'Ransomes' page, suffice to say that there were four hamlets of Gipeswic (spellings vary), the ancient town:
Wykes Bishop, Wykes Ufford – see our St Clement's Church page for a passage on this by G.R. Clarke – Stoke and Brookes. Wykes Bishop, or 'Bishop's Wick' stretched from Bishop's Hill down to the river. The moated residence of the Bishop of Norwich stood in Holywells Park from 1235 until the dissolution of Catholic institutions by Henry VIII, 1536-1541. You can still see parts of the moat around the children's play area. On the early 1930s map below it is the near-complete rectangular moat.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Holywells Park 1930Early 1930s map
As so often in Ipswich, the hills around the Orwell river basin sprout with spring water. The map indicates the bodies of water in Holywells when the mansion still stood. The sequence of ponds down the hillside (famously painted by Gainsborough) can be seen, some forming part of the remnants of the moat round the Bishop's Palace, descending to the 'Big Pond' which can still be found, which then feeds 'The Canal', which was dug to supply water under Holywells Road and into the Cobbold Brewery on Cliff Quay. See also our page on Water in Ipswich. Incidentally, the 'Pinfold' seen on Nacton Road at middle-right of the map is a pound, or enclosure for impounding stray stock animals.

A footnote to the big houses here on the high ground overlooking what was, in the 19th century, the poorest part of Ipswich: St Clement's parish:-
"Overlooking the densely populated dockside area though hidden from view, were the houses of some important townsmen. Most notably, at the top of Bishop's Hill stood Holywells, the residence and park of the Cobbolds, the dominant ground landlord of the district below, the owner of the Cliff Brewery and a considerable employer of labour. Also at the top of the hill there were a number of new houses of men of some substance in the town's affairs including a mechanical engineer, Biddell [
C.A. Biddell, director of Ransomes], at Upland Gate, Thomas Mortimer, a merchant and Rev. Francis Maude, the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church. At the top of Back Hamlet was Hill House and its grounds, the residence of the Byles family, malsters and merchants, and just below was Trinity Lodge, where the vicar of St Lawrence lived. Such residences away from and literally above the masses in the streets below and unlike those of their fellows who still lived in Fore Street and Church Street [later Grimwade Street], were part of that process of spatial distancing that was taking place in Ipswich as in most large towns as in nineteenth-century class society became more clearly differentiated. This separation of the classes is also apparent within the area as well: behind the mainly middle and lower middle class thoroughfares of Fore Street, Church Street and Borough Road [both now parts of Grimwade Street] lay the warren of poor housing where the mass of the labouring poor lived." Extract from Rags and Bones by Frank Grace see Reading List.

[UPDATE 17.12.2015: "After living in Australia since 1965 I was fascinated to read information regarding Bishops Hill, where I lived with my mother and sister for a couple of years (1962-65).
We actually lived next door to Mrs Mason's property (on the lower side) in what we used to believe was known as The White House (still standing). My mother had bought the smaller (western) half of the house while the other half had been divided into flats.
As an 8 or 9 year-old I remember visiting the elderly lady (and the name Mrs Mason seems to ring a bell [see the entry and photograph above concerning Mrs Mason]) in the large house next door on only one occasion. And of course I also remember the letters on the roadside wall as I walked past them on my way to and from Cliff Lane Primary School via Holywells Park.
However my immediate interest is in the history of the land on the lower side of The White House (now occupied by Mitre Way and its buildings). When I was young there was a significantly lower vacant block that separated our house from a pub that stood about where the new road is now. The pub was owned/managed by a family named Hetherington and to my knowledge was called something like 'The White Horse/Bull'. It was rumoured (perhaps only among us kids) to have had false walls and secret tunnels dating back to times of smuggling.
The vacant block (which also extended through to border Cavendish St) looked like it had once had buildings on it. To the north of the vacant block there was a huge metal fence (which we once scaled) and behind it was what seemed to be a swampy, densly treed unspoilt area that contained turtles and seemed completely mystical to us young children.
I was wondering if you or any of your readers know the history of The White House, the pub, or the vacant land that used to be in between and at the back of them.
Steve Jarron."

Researching the area
We have produced some research in response to Steve's original email. One aspect is Montrose (House) in Rosehill Road which in the 1980s was Suffolk County Council’s Montrose Day Nursery. Montrose had large gardens and steeply sloping woodland before all the new housing arrived, accessed from Rosehill Crescent and Mitre Way in the 1990s.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Mitre Way2021 images
Above: the entry to  Mitre Way from Bishops Hill in a composite photograph with, to the left, the pocket park which is the presumed site of The White Elm public house.
At the bottom of the slope, there is a kind of trapezium leading off and back onto Cavendish Street, White Elm Street. In truth, this is only a made-up road on the two sides, one with industrial structures and one with a handful of houses with the joining bit being an overgrown track. It is named after the pub Steve mentions, The White Elm.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Mitre Way sign
Mitre – a Bishops' official headgear – was an obvious choice as the name for a new offshoot from Bishops Hill.

The White Elm

Pondering on the actual site of this pub, the Suffolk CAMRA website (see Links) provides a remarkable, grainy image from c.1960 showing it standing just below The White House (nos. 35 and 37 Bishops Hill). It was just below the current Mitre Way: today, a wooded seating area with a small play area behind. A rough footpath below this spot leads down onto White Elm Street. The road in the right foreground of the photograph must be Myrtle Road (it suffered bombing during World War II), which is still there today, although the Myrtle public house which stood further down Fore Hamlet closed in 1936.

From the details of the White Elm pub on the CAMRA website it had quite extensive out-buildings and land (“yard, garden & orchard”).

Now, to the area of woodland behind was the steep wooded slope of the land behind the formal garden of Montrose. The wooded bank can still be seen from Cavendish Street. They cut through Mitre Way on part of this and extended Rosehill Crescent down the hill to build a surprisingly large number of dwellings. Montrose is now divided into  flats with a number of listed trees around it.

White Elm Inn, 23 Bishops Hill (grid reference TM 174 438); closed March 18th, 1965 last owner Tollemache. First publican listed: 1752.
Also reported at 141-143 Fore Hamlet (Bishops Hill address from Ipswich licensing records).

Extra historical information [from Suffolk CAMRA site]
A reference in the Ipswich Journal on 11 Apr 1752 to Robert Baker at the White Elm in Ipswich. The Ipswich Journal reported on Mar 13 1802: To be sold by auction at The Bowling Green, Ipswich on Tuesday 23rd March, 1802 at 7pm, All that good accustomed Inn, called The White Elm, with the yard, garden & orchard thereto belonging, situate in the parish of St Clement, Ipswich and now in the occupation of John EASTY, or his undertenants.

A report in the Ipswich Journal in Nov 1855 states :
“To be sold by auction, by order of Mr George Bellamy, who is leaving the White Elm, Ipswich, part of the excellent household furniture, featherbeds and bedding, large willow dinner service, 33 dozen knives and forks, 20 dozen mugs, 30 dozen of beer and liquor glasses, liquor casks, spirit measures, tables, etc. To be let with immediate possession, the well frequented public house , known as the White Elm, having a large garden and saloon, a first class club holds its meetings at the above Inn”

A report in the Ipswich Journal in July 1890 states : “The estate of the late Mr Owen Ridley, a brewer of Ipswich was submitted to public competition on Wednesday 2nd July 1890 and includes the following public house details: the White Elm, Bishop's Hill, let at £10 per annum, with stables, 6 cottages, and land, let at £37 14s 6d per annum (freehold)” eventually bought by the bid of Messrs. Tollemache. A report in the Ipswich Journal on 27 May in 1893 states : “On Whit Sunday, 1893, William Exworth married Caroline Elizabeth. daughter of George MAYHEW of the White Elm Inn, Bishops Hill, Ipswich.”

Montrose, Rosehill Crescent [from Ipswich Boro’ Local List]. 1905.
Architect: Eade and Johns. Large 3 storey detached house, in a mature garden setting. Red brick, slate roof tiles. Rectangular ground plan, hipped roof. The garden facing west elevation is symmetrical; 2 story flat roofed bays at either end of the broad frontage, 3 window bays between and a modern timber terrace (plastic panels in roof). Long flat roofed dormer in roof slope above. South elevation has first floor oriel window on timber corbels, open entrance vestibule below with timber support columns on brick walls. Other elevations are more informally grouped; extensions, dormers , chimney stacks and covered porches.

And a follow-up from our Australian enquirer, Steve Jarron: "Thanks immensely for the information you have provided to me. It is prompting lost memories of my childhood to come flooding back to me. It also explains some of the 'mystery' about what was beyond the high metal fence at the rear of the vacant block.
'The picture of the White Elm is fantastic. About once a week my mother used to take my younger sister and I for a short walk down to where a Fish & Chip van used to park in front of the pub and we would buy great fish and chips. I seem to also recall that we could buy packets of Smiths Crisps from the van. The interesting thing was that the packets contained little blue waxpaper wrappers containing salt so that you could use it to match your taste - an option we don't get nowadays.

There used to be a shop further down the road (on the other side) owned by a bloke I think was called Teddy Wars (or something similar). My sister and I would regularly go down there to buy sweets/lollies including Tom Thumbs, Humbugs, etc from the large range of big jars he had. As I said, I could go on for ages about life as a 8-9 year old on Bishops Hill.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bishops Hill shop 2021The sweet shop in 2021
In 2007 my wife (who had never been to England) and I were lucky enough to travel to England and Scotland for 4 weeks. I was able to share some of my childhood adventures with her and took her to Bishops Hill, Felixstowe, etc. We bought some fantastic fish and chips (further along Felixstowe Road) and had them for lunch in Holywells Park. It was an unexpected coincidence that the day we were there was the opening day for the (then new) children's play area in the park. Of course with many things still the same after more than four decades, the area immediately down from The White House had changed beyond recognition - hence my enquiry to you.
So thanks ever so much for your very enlightening (and extremely prompt) response. I will continue to monitor your website with interest.
Steve Jarron" Many thanks to Steve for his interest and enthusiasm.]

See also the Suffolk Mills Group document on Windmills in the Borough of Ipswich (click to open the PDF).

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