Gippeswiche 1539

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Gippeswich 1539
Not really a map, more an artist's impression of the town, this picture is a relatively recent discovery. This is taken from the 1539 Survey of the Suffolk Coast. The survey is anonymous, but was commissioned at a time when Henry VIII feared invasion by the combined forces of France and Spain. He was aware of the vulnerability of the Suffolk coast and detailed notes are made about the entrance to the Orwell.

The illustration shows the Orwell/Gipping confluence at Stoke Bridge in the foreground. There appear to be some kind of gatehouse on both the north and south side of the bridge, probably to monitor traffic and impose an entry tax or port charge. The importance of Stoke Bridge as an access point for the town is shown in this picture. The name 'Gippeswiche' (later Ipswich) appears twice at lower right.

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