Architectural features

This section contains lettering examples from the fabric of buildings. The carved or moulded lettering on shops, houses and other buildings constitute one of the most useful indicators for the local historian. A habit particularly prevalent during the Victorian era, a period when house building in the town increased prodigiously, these plaques and names often included a date. The selection of examples here show lettering and numerals intrinsically part of the material of the building, rather than applied or attached to it. This gallery includes architectural trade and commercial features.

    Tooley's Almshouses
and Smart's Almshouses in Foundation Street bear impressive dedication plaques.
    More Almshouses: Nethaniah Home for the Aged, Luther Road, Mrs Smiths' Almshouses, Elm Street, Cranfield Court, Wm. Paul Tenement Trust (also a page about Paul's malting).
Alston Road house name/date plaques and a connection to Rosehill Library.
The Ancient House: in Buttermarket, a remarkable survivor.
Atlas House – although barely lettered, this handsome former shoe factory deserves inclusion here.
Baden-Powell Cottages in Bramford Lane boast an unusual sculptural bust; also examples from Norfolk Road and Bramford Lane.
   Artillery Barracks: Barrack Lane
East Suffolk Militia Depot boundary stones on the walls of Ipswich School, Ivry Street.
   Parade Field Terrace: traces of the militia barracks on Albion Hill.
Belle Vue Road: part of a house name in the capital of a pillar; the asylum which preceded the road.
Bethesda Church,
the nearby Public Library, plus the Regent Theatre.
Bolton Lane has three dated buildings and the mysterious Bolton Lane Social Club & Institute Ltd.
Broom Hill Road displays a variety of house lettering for such a relatively short residential road, including F.L.S. plaques.
Bramford Road house names, many of them dated.
Bridgeward Club and St Peter's Vicarage off Austin Street, Over Stoke.
The Captain's Houses
in Grimwade Street.
Castle Hill Community Centre features 'AD 1893' monograms.
Cauldwell Hall Road: a plethora of house name/date plaques.
Cavendish Street:
a sub-plethora of house name/date plaques.
Cemetery including the Temple of Remembrance, the Crematorium coat of arms and the Field of Honour.
Cenotaph in Christchurch Park.
Christchurch Mansion and Park: see below under 'Parks'.
Coats of arms and crests on buildings, particularly that of Ipswich Borough.
College Street: 1-5, Burton Son & Saunders offices and their relationship to the Wolsey Gate; also No. 4 with its dated bressumer.
The Co-operative Society
have many properties in the town and provide some interesting architectural lettering features.
Cornhill. Several excellent examples of architectural lettering can be seen in this vicinity. This page shows the original Post Office and Mannings public house. Also a growing collection of Footmans/Debenhams store ephemera.
Cornhill2 takes us round behind (and inside) the Corn Exchange: the original Police Station, the bank, Exchange Chambers and the Swan Inn.
County Hall Once the home of the East Suffolk County Council in St Helens Street with associated lettering in Grimwade Street and Rope Walk.
The Crown & Anchor Hotel
in Westgate Street nearby is a gothic palace of decoration and lettering; also on this page, examples from Westgate Street.
Curson Lodge, St Nicholas Street and The Wolsey Gate, College Street (with a page about Wolsey's College).
E. Brand and Sons in Tacket Street, Ewer's Grey-Green Coaches and Phillips & Piper in St Margarets Street are here, too.
Felixstowe Road FLS Garden farms.
Fore Street: '1620' bressumer beam and The Steam Packet Hotel.
Fore Street Baths in Fore Street.
Fred Smith & Co. building in Princes Street: one of the architectural trade lettering gems in Ipswich.
Great White Horse interior photographs from 2016.
Hope House in Foxhall Road has an array of memorial slabs.
Old hospitals: the Anglesea Road Pathology entrance, Victoria Wing, War Memorial Wing as well as reminders of Bartlet and Foxhall Hospitals. Now with Ipswich Sanatorium 1912 EADT Souvenir (PDF download).
The ICA International Community Centre (RIP).
Ipswich Martyrs memorial in Christchurch Park.

Kossuth Cottage
in Freehold Road.
Lloyds Avenue
reaches right up to the former Odeon and Electric House.
Lower Brook Street leads to Price, the bootmaker, The Victoria Nursing Institute and in Rose Lane 'D.B 1862'.
The Maharani Restaurant in Norwich Road had a dated bressumer beam.
Marlborough Road is a riot of named houses.
Morpeth House and the astonishing story of the Whitfield King stamp business.
   Ipswich Museum
displays its date of building and the Schools of Art and Science. Also a page on the Museum's lettered contents.
Ipswich Transport Museum has some rescued examples of street name plates and trade signs.
Museum Street: decorative and dated office buildings.
Norfolk House, Seymour Road/Rectory Road.
14 North Gate:
house lettering of a circular kind from Upper Brook Street, Pitcairn Road and Crown Street.
Odeon / Hope Church: the ghost of its former role as a multiplex cinema can still be seen on this Art Deco-style building on Woodbridge Road/St Helens Street.
Palmerston Road: Kerrison Villa and Home Cottage.
   Alexandra Park: the Byles Memorial fountain, lower gates and Kings Avenue named houses.
   Bourne Park
: the Ransomes & Rapier war memorial and gates (also R&R engineering products), the Stokes Gun; railway arch, Bourne Bridge, The Ostrich. Also material and images on the disappeared Stoke Park mansion and parkland.
   Chantry Park:
a glimpse of its history.
   Christchurch Park: our finest public park, which includes Christchurch Mansion. The Ipswich Martyrs memorial and the Cenotaph have their own pages, as do the Withypolls memorials slab and Christchurch timeline.
   Gippeswyk Park: another Felix Cobbold bequest to the town.
   Holywells Park: spruced up in 2015.
   Landseer Park
   Racecourse Recreation Ground , now known as 'Murray Park'.
The People's Hall ('Stoke Hall') in Stoke Street.
Princes Street
has some nice examples of lettering in 'the banking and insurance quarter' of the town.
Pumping station in West End Road, dated in the brickwork.
Railings and gates outside houses, some of them lettered.
Rain water hoppers and weather vanes are sometimes used to record building dates.
Rosehill area house name plaques.
Rosehill Library case study and Margaret Hancock's research into the F.L.S. Rosehill Estate
Roundwood Road and other dated buildings: the big '1926'; and a selection of other buildings bearing dates.
Ruskin House: a butchered house sign on the former post office, also the built-in ceramic sign 'The Blooming Fuchsia'.
Sailors Rest in St Peters Street, Cutler Street and the now-demolished Turret Green Baptist Chapel.
   Bramford School – outside Ipswich boundaries, but a near neighbour.
Ipswich High School
on Westerfield Road.
   Ipswich Ragged Schools in Waterworks Street and Bond Street are a sobering reminder of the hardships and philanthropies of the past; also the story of 'The Merchant House' transplanted to Silent Street.
   Smart Street School which is actually 'SHIRE HALL SCHOOLS',  including the vanished Shire Hall and Pleasant Row between Foundation Street and Lower Orwell Street.
   More Schools: Bramford Road School, Argyle Street School, Clifford Road School, Springfield Junior School and Ranelagh Road School, the lost Grey Coat Boys' School, Elm Street School and Spring Road School are here.
St Helens Street
has several examples of lettering built into structures. We celebrate 'Tramway Place 1882' and related street furniture with a short history of the Ipswich Corporation Tramways.
St Jude's Brewery: 18th century dated building and environs.
Social Settlement: although demolished before the Queen's visit in July 1961, this important Fore Street building, repleat with lettering, deserves to be commemorated.
Soane Street has symbols on The Old Pack Horse Inn and The Freemason's Hall.

Stoke Hall Road off Belstead Road, or what remains of the Hall; a hidden bonus: the extensive tunnels beneath it.
Temple of Remembrance off Cemetery Road: a domed 1935 building; Field of Honour; Cemetery Road gate-posts with coats of arms.
Sun Inn in St Stephens Lane: a beautiful restoration of a medieval building.
Tolly Cobbold: 'Cliff Cottage'.
Tolly Cobbold Cliff Quay Brewery: 'The Cliff'.
Uncle Tom's Cabin in Vernon Street has its name and 'S&P Ltd' as well as frosted lettered pub windows.
University of Suffolk has a wall of calligraphy.
Wherstead red bricks, their use in local house-building and notes on local brickyards.
The Wrestlers in Westerfield Road boasts the date '1667'.

See also Lost Ipswich trade signs (
with sections on  'Before & after the Willis building' and Thomas Seckford's 'Great Place' in Westgate Street)...
and Collage of lost signs.

Related pages:
Named buildings list; Named (and sometimes dated) buildings examples
Dated buildings list; Dated buildings examples;
Dated rain-hoppers/weather vanes; Railings and gates;
Origins of street names in Ipswich; Streets named after slavery abolitionists
Street index; Street nameplates; Boundary markers
Ipswich Tomorrow, Greyfriars 1960s

Rampart and Town gates

Historic maps of Ipswich
Timeline: historical eras, events and monarchs
Blue plaques
Freehold Land Society
Lettered castings
Ipswich coat of arms
Pubs & Off licences
Brickyards; Ropewalks in Ipswich
Water in Ipswich
Listed buildings in Ipswich
Windmills in the Borough of Ipswich

[Our 'May Villas 1893' background comes from the Belle Vue Road page.]

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