A dock was in operation in Ipswich on a bend in the River Orwell in the 8th century, and was probably established during the 7th century under the protection of the ruling house of the Kingdom of East Anglia, which reached its summit under King Raedwald. The importance of this dock, and the surrounding town which served it, has been recognized through excavation over the past fifty years. The early town of Ipswich (then called Gipeswic), centred upon the quay, extended over more than 52 hectares, the area later enclosed by the Viking age ramparts (which curtailed the Anglo-Saxon township), making it one of the largest new early post-Roman townships and emporia in northern Europe. Imported pottery of Rhenish Merovingian types, imported lava quern-stones and barrel-timbers dendro-dated to 8th century Germany, and finds of continental coinage such as 'porcupine sceattas' indicate trade through the Rhine port towns including Domburg, Dorestad and Andernach, as part of the cultural engagement of Anglo-Saxon England with the Frisian, Frankish, Alamannic, Saxon, Thuringian and Burgundian worlds. The important 'Ipswich Ware' pottery industry, established in the town's north-east quarter probably in the late 7th century, reflected shapes and kiln technologies based on Frisian prototypes, either in imitation of imports arriving at the quay or set up by migrant Frisian workers. The Gipeswic dock was therefore the trade capital of the East Anglian Kingdom, situated not far from its royal centre at Rendlesham and Sutton Hoo. During the 7th and 8th centuries the two greatest English ports were York (Eoforwic) and London, and two principal new ports were Gipeswic in the east and Hamwic (Southampton) in the south. Like Hamwih, Gipeswic dock was therefore a point of departure and arrival for continental travel.
The early waterfront of Ipswich Dock ran from approximately St Peter's Church, near the present Stoke Bridge, eastward behind the present quay or marina embankment and past the present Custom House. It lay originally nearer to the line of College Street and Salthouse Street, with new revetments being built successively further out into the river in order to achieve a sufficient depth of water for ships to moor, as the earlier embankments became silted. The area between the road and the quay, formerly occupied by warehouses and now by new building developments, represents this area of successive embankments built upon river-mud. An extensive area of early Medieval waterfront construction was found by excavation during recent works to demolish the old industrial waterfront, and showed the footings of many projecting boardwalks, in a similar way to the contemporary waterfront at Dorestad, one of its principal trading partners in those times.
The original crossing was a ford, east of Stoke Bridge, linking Great Whip Street (on the south bank) with Foundation Street to the north, which then immediately branched into Lower Brook Street. The area north of the road, between St Peter's church and St Mary-at-Quay (and east of that), is thought to represent the site of the Anglo-Saxon industrial waterfront development. Its first urban catchment area extended north up to Falcon Street, Old Cattle Market, Dog's Head Street and Tacket Street, with burial grounds on rising land to the north. Probably during the 8th century the Stoke Bridge crossing was created, establishing the importance of St Peter's Street as the main northern route, and urban expansion spread over the burial grounds north to include the street called Buttermarket, the Cornhill area, and the line of the prehistoric road now represented by Westgate Street, Tavern Street and Carr Street. Discoveries of early sceattas in this area, and a dedication to St Mildred, suggest that this new layout was planned during the reigns of Kings Ealdwulf (664-713) and his son AElfwald (713-749). The street plan represented by this early Medieval development still largely survives in use in the modern town of Ipswich, and is one of the oldest post-Roman street-plans to survive anywhere in Europe. Both dock and town have remained in continuous use and occupation since that time.
In 991 a fleet of 93 Viking ships swept up the river Orwell and sacked the town.
During Edward III's reign Ipswich was one of the richest and most important ports in the country. Wool from Norfolk and Suffolk was in great demand by the weavers of Flanders and the Netherlands. 300 ships massed in the river to carry soldiers to fight and win the battle of Cressy. In 1588 Ipswich built, fitted out and manned two ships to sail against the Spanish Armada.
John Kirby reported in 1732 that the trade in the town had recently reduced and that there had been 20 ships a year built in the town and having seen over 200 ships belonging to the town in the port during the winter.
The dock was 'improved' in 1805 and then in 1837 an Act of Parliament allowed the Ipswich Dock Commissioners to construct a new wet dock whilst also placing certain conditions on them. In addition to building the wet dock and providing a diversion for the river Orwell along a 'New Cut' to the west of the dock the commissioners were to allow all persons, with cattle and carriages, may thereby have free access to the dock and quays and the sides of the said new cut and channel and also to contribute to the health and recreation of the inhabitants [of Ipswich]. The Ipswich Dock Commission was provided with investment of £25,000 and the right to borrow a further £100,000 but needed a further loan of £20,000 and also an additional levy of six pence per tonne on all imported coal to fund the project. The dock opened in 1842; the original lock gates entered the dock from the New Cut opposite Felaw Street. The new custom house (now known as the 'Old Custom House') was completed in 1845.
The Ipswich Docks Act of 1877 allowed for the construction of a new lock in their present position to facilitate access to the dock and allow trams to operate along the length of the 'Island' between New Cut and the dock. The new lock gates were constructed by the time of the 1898 Act which authorised the construction of a swing bridge.
Ipswich Docks Act of 1913 allowed for the construction of a new entrance to the docks comprising inner and outer gates and a swing bridge, a quay and various tramways and also allowed for the 'stopping off' of various rights of way. There was however a condition that work had to be completed within 10 years and following World War 1 an extension was granted by an Act of Parliament in 1918.
The Ipswich Dock Act 1971 authorised the development of the West Bank to allow ro-ro ships to dock. The Ipswich Dock Commission was reconstituted as the Ipswich Port Authority in 1973 when the first stage of the development was completed, further work was carried out in 1977 and 1979 and then again in 1998.
In 1997 the port was sold by Ipswich Ports Ltd to Associated British Ports. In 1998 new facilities were constructed for handling grain and timber followed by a Timber Treatment Centre in 1999. A new 7,500 square metre bulk storage shed with equipment for bagging and blending of fertilizers and other bulk products was then developed in the site of the old Cliff Quay Power Station. In 2000 there were a number of further developments; a £1.9million agribulk storage facility opened; new automated lock gates were completed; a 180 berth Ipswich Haven Marina opened and the Old Custom House was refurbished and restored with the former bonded warehouse on the ground floor converted into the 'Waterfront Conference Centre'.
Many new buildings have been constructed along the northern and eastern quays since 1995. The Salthouse Hotel, the town's only 4 star hotel, opened in 2003 and was extended in 2009. The University Campus Suffolk opened on the waterfront in 2008 with further construction in progress in 2010. A 23 story 234 ft tall landmark building which was 'topped out' in late 2008 by town's member of parliament, Chris Mole and Dance East opened their new £8.9m Jerwood Dance House in 2009 within the building.
The dock today
There are a number of activities around of the dock area including:
The Jerwood Dance Centre (on the ground floor of 'The Mill' - a 23 story 'landmark' building)
The Old Custom House (grade II listed with a new conference centre on the ground floor and the offices of the Ipswich Port Authority above)
Salthouse Harbour Hotel
The University Campus Suffolk
Holy Trinity Church
The 'Orwell Lady' runs excursions within the Orwell Estuary from the waterfront
A variety of restaurants and bars
National Cycle Route 1and National Cycle Route 51 pass along the waterfront. Ipswich Waterfront Action (previously known as the Ipswich Waterfront Community Group) has been working for a friendly, thriving and vibrant community on the Ipswich Waterfront since 2007.
The Port of Ipswich
The dock is owned by Associated British Ports who operate both the 'West Bank' terminal (to the west of the New Cut) and 'Cliff Quay' (to the east of the Orwell). West Bank has two transit sheds totalling 6,377 sq m, plus areas available for open storage and operates a ro-ro service. Cliff Quay handles and stores liquid and dry bulks with 89,000 cu m of petrochemical storage tanks and has 67,583 sq m of covered storage and additional open storage. There is a twice daily freight ferry service linking Ipswich with the Port of Ostend and a regular service from Ipswich to Wilhelmshaven. The container terminal is equipped to handle all types of containers and can also accept out-of-gauge and heavy lift cargoes and is equipped to accommodate short to mid-sea operations.
There is also the Neptune Marine with mooring for 250 private boats, a chandler and two boat builders (Fairline Yachts and Spirit Yachts).
Duke Street Junction Improvements
Proposer Suffolk County Council
cost estimate £3.5 million
start date 2010
Ipswich Wet Dock Crossing
Ipswich Wet Dock Crossing Location Ipswich
Proposer Ipswich Borough Council
cost estimate £28 million
completion date 2018
The Borough Council has proposed to build a new road across the entrance to the Ipswich dock. The route is from Hollywells Road across a swing-bridge by the lock gates and then across the New Cut to Hawes Street. The stated objective is to "reduce congestion on the Star Lane/College Street gyratory and support pedestrian and cyclists". The scheme is included in the draft Local Development Framework (September 2009) at an estimated cost of £28 million and a completion date of 2018. Ipswich Borough Council highlights significant uncertainties about the deliverability of this road and indicates that the Wet Dock Crossing and the Northern Bypass could be mutually exclusive transport schemes. However this scheme is not supported by Suffolk County Council (who are the transport authority) and they do not include it in their 2006-2011 Suffolk Local Transport Plan or their plans for the subsequent Local Transport Plan. The Ipswich Waterfront study completed in 2006 for the county council also recommended that traffic demand management on the Star Lane/College Street should be tackled urgently without waiting for a new crossing. The Waterfront study estimated the cost at £60m and the county council estimate it at £79m.
Proposed restricted byways Suffolk County Council have created legal orders to create a number of restricted byways around the waterfront.
Ipswich Waterfront Action
The Waterfront Action (previously known as the Ipswich Waterfront Community Group) was established in 2007 as a community initiative with the purpose of working towards a friendly, thriving and vibrant community on the Ipswich Waterfront. The organisation was set up by the Ipswich Waterfront Churches. A constitution has been drawn up so that funding can be sought to push the work forward.
Waterfront Action has organised several successful events which were held to help develop a relational and vibrant
Ipswich Waterfront Community for both residents and visitors.
About Ipswich Waterfront
For a decade now Ipswich Waterfront has
been the site of intense construction activity, beginning
back in 1999 with the completion of 69 luxury apartments at
Neptune Quay by developer Bellway Homes.
[taken from Ipswich Borough Council Website - link]
IPSWICH, a borough, port, and market-town, and the head of a union, in the liberty of Ipswich, E. division of Suffolk, 25 miles (S. E. by E.) from Bury St. Edmund's, and 69 (N. E.) from London; containing 25,384 inhabitants. This place had a mint in the early period of the heptarchy, and was fortified with walls, and surrounded by a moat: of the walls there are still some remains in a garden near the church of St. Nicholas, and of the moat a memorial is preserved in the name of the northern suburb, called the Ditches. Though of considerable antiquity, it is not distinguished by any event of historical importance prior to the Conquest: in Doomsday book it is named Gipeswic, and Gyppeswic, from the river Gyppen or Gypping, which falls into the Orwell, near the town. The walls, which were greatly damaged in 991 and 1000, when the town was plundered by the Danes, were repaired in the reign of John, and had four gates. Soon after the Conquest a castle was erected here, which Hugh Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, defended against Stephen, to whom he at length surrendered it, and which was afterwards demolished by Henry II. Isabel, queen of Edward II., who had made a visit to France, landed here on her return, with a force of nearly 3000 men, and, being joined by the discontented barons, laid siege to Bristol, where she put the elder Spencer to death, and compelled the king to take refuge in Wales. In the 26th of Henry VIII., Ipswich was made the seat of a suffragan bishop, who was consecrated by Archbishop Cranmer, and had a mansion in the parish of St. Peter, the remains of which are now used as a malthouse. During the reign of Mary, several individuals suffered martyrdom in the town. Queen Elizabeth, in her progress through Norfolk and Suffolk, remained at the place for four days, and sailed down the Orwell in great pomp, attended by the corporation. Among other sovereigns who have visited Ipswich may be noticed George II., when on his way from Lowestoft, upon which occasion a congratulatory address was presented to him by the corporation; and George IV., when Regent.
The town is pleasantly situated on an acclivity, bordered on the west and south by the river Orwell, over which is a handsome iron bridge, and another bridge at the entrance into Ipswich from the London road; the streets are irregularly formed, and were once inconveniently narrow. Under an act passed in 1816, the town was paved, and is lighted with gas; a fund, also, has been raised for its general improvement. The houses, many of which are ancient and ornamented with carved work, are for the most part well built; and the erection of several good ranges of building, and the construction of some handsome streets, have added much to the appearance of the town. The inhabitants are supplied with water from the river and from springs. The air is salubrious, and the temperature mild, the place being sheltered from the colder winds by hills on the north and north-east. The environs are pleasant; and the higher grounds command a fine view of the town, the river, and the adjacent country, which abounds with pleasingly diversified scenery, including Christchurch Park, in which are some of the finest Spanish chestnut and beech trees in the kingdom, and which, from its extent and the beauty and variety of its scenery, forms a delightful promenade. The cavalry barracks, a neat building at the entrance from the London road, contain accommodation for six troops, but three only are usually stationed there. A philosophical society was established in 1818. There is a library for the use of the free burgesses, founded by Mr. W. Smart in 1612, and originally attached to the free grammar school, but now removed to the Literary Institution, at the town-hall; and a public subscription library is supported, together with three subscription newsrooms, a mechanics' institute established in 1824, and a horticultural society. A museum is in course of erection, which will contain a library, apartments for specimens now being collected, and various other rooms, with a spacious lobby: the building was commenced in 1847. The theatre is opened twice in the year, for a few weeks, by the Norwich company of comedians; Garrick made his first appearance on the stage here, in 1741. There are some subscription assembly-rooms, elegantly fitted up; and races take place in the first week in July. On the quay are commodious baths.
The borough has a jurisdiction extending for a considerable distance on both sides of the Suffolk coast, and beyond Harwich on the coast of Essex. A very good foreign and coasting trade is carried on at the port, which is rising in importance; the number of vessels of above 50 tons' burthen registered here being 119, and their aggregate tonnage 12,339. The coasting-trade consists chiefly in corn and malt, and in timber for shipbuilding, with which Ipswich supplies the dockyards. Very extensive improvements have been lately effected, which greatly facilitate commercial enterprise. The river, which was only about 14 feet deep up to the town at spring tides, has been deepened to 17 feet; and the mercantile premises in the town being mostly situated on the eastern side of the river, where it turns at nearly a right angle from its previous course, a space of 33 acres at this point has been enclosed as a wet-dock, which forms one of the most spacious and advantageously situated docks in the kingdom. The rivers Orwell and Gipping, which were thus arrested in their progress, were again connected with the river by a new cut that may be termed the chord of which the old channel formed the bow, so that the river proceeds in a rather more direct course than before. The Stow-Market canal, constructed in 1793, at an expense of £26,380, affords great facility for inland navigation; it is formed in the channel of the river Gipping, from Stow-Market to Ipswich. The line of railway from Ipswich to Colchester was opened in June 1846, and that from Ipswich to Bury, in December: the terminus here stands in a beautiful spot, close to the town, surrounded by rural scenery, and commanding a view of the Orwell and the adjacent country. Boats sail with every tide to Harwich, affording an aquatic excursion of twelve miles, which derives much interest from the beauty and variety of the scenery on the banks of the river. The principal articles of manufacture are snuff and tobacco, paper, patent ploughs, and ploughshares. The town was formerly celebrated for the manufacture of broad-cloth and Ipswich doubles, and the best canvass for sailcloth; branches now transferred to the West of England. Shipbuilding is carried on to a considerable extent, and several of Morton's patent-slips are in use. There are ropewalks for the supply of the shipping, a manufactory for stays, affording employment to upwards of 700 women and girls, an extensive pottery, a manufactory for Roman cement, and several ale and porter breweries: a great quantity of grain and malt is sent to the London market; and there are extensive chalk-pits in the neighbourhood. The market-days are Tuesday and Saturday, the former for corn: the fairs are on May 4th, called St. George's fair, for toys and lean cattle; August 26th for lambs; and Sept. 25th, for butter and cheese, which last has almost fallen into disuse. The corn-market is held in the corn-exchange, a large building erected at the expense of £3300, on the site of the old shambles, said to have been built by Cardinal Wolsey. The market-place, constructed in 1811, at an expense of £10,000, comprises two spacious quadrangular ranges of building supported on columns of stone, adjoining which is an enclosed cattle-market. A building for a custom-house and excise office, called the Hall of Commerce, was completed in July 1845; it is 125 feet by 44, the principal front, having a bold Tuscan portico, facing the quay.
Ipswich was a borough at the time of the Norman survey, and obtained a grant of a free market from William the Conqueror. Its burgesses were first incorporated by King John, who bestowed upon them extensive privileges; and since that time the inhabitants have received seventeen charters, the most important being those of Edward IV. and Charles II., under which latter the government was vested in two bailiffs, twelve port-men, and twenty-four common-councilmen, with a high-steward, recorder, town-clerk, two coroners, a treasurer, two chamberlains, and inferior officers. The corporation, by act of the 5th and 6th of William IV., now consists of a mayor, ten aldermen, and thirty councillors; the borough is divided into five wards, and the number of magistrates is eighteen. The freedom is inherited by all the sons of a free burgess, born after the parent has taken up his freedom, and is acquired by servitude to a freeman. Among the privileges which it confers, is, exemption from all tolls and other customs, and, for the resident burgesses, from serving on juries at the assizes or sessions for the county. Heirs are here considered of age when fourteen years old. The borough obtained the elective franchise in the 23rd of Edward I., since which time it has continued to return two members to parliament: the right of election was formerly vested in the burgesses at large not receiving alms, in number about 1100, of whom not more than 400 were resident; but by the act of the 2nd and 3rd of William IV., cap. 45, the non-resident burgesses were disfranchised, and the privilege was extended to the £10 householders of the borough, containing 845 acres, the limits of which are unaltered: the mayor is returning officer. The corporation hold courts of session for the determination of all civil and criminal causes, except capital offences, twice in the year, prior to the assizes; and a court of record on alternate Mondays, for the recovery of debts to any amount. Petty-sessions are held weekly. The town hall was built on the site, and partly with the materials, of the ancient parochial church of St. Mildred, which was a building of extraordinary solidity. Courts of justice have been lately erected, the exterior of which is very elegant, light, and chastely ornamented; and a house for the accommodation of the judges has been built, the summer assizes being now held here, as are also the quarter-sessions for a portion of the county. The powers of the county debt-court of Ipswich, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Ipswich, Sampford, and Bosmere and Claydon. The borough gaol comprises six divisions for the classification of prisoners, exclusively of two solitary cells; the house of correction for the borough contains two wards. The common gaol and house of correction for the county, in the parish of St. Helen, is a spacious building of brick, and one of the first erected on the plan of Mr. Howard. The treadmill, as an instrument of prison discipline, was invented by Mr. W. Cubitt, an inhabitant of the town.
Ipswich comprises the parishes of St. Clement, containing 5945 inhabitants; St. Helen, 1352; St. Lawrence, 570; St. Margaret, 4539; St. Mary-at-Elms, 851; St. Mary-at-the-Quay, 988; St. Mary Stoke, 992; St. Mary-at-the-Tower, 967; St. Matthew, 3458; St. Nicholas, 1698; St. Peter, 2420; and St. Stephen, 503; and, within the limits of the borough, part of the parish of Whitton with Thurleston, 422; part of that of Westerfield, 324; part of Bramford, 881; and part of Rushmere, 564; likewise the extra-parochial places of Warren-House, Cold Dunghills, Globe-Lane, Shire Hall Yard, and Felaw's-Houses. The living of St. Clement's is a rectory not in charge, held with that of St. Helen's, valued in the king's books at £8. 13. 9., and in the gift of the Rev. J. T. Nottidge, who has lately erected an additional church at his own expense, dedicated to the Holy Trinity [one of the few "open" churches on the Ipswich Waterfront/Ipswich Docks website] : the tithes of St. Clement's have been commuted for £280, and of St. Helen's for £58. The church of St. Clement is a neat edifice of freestone; that of St. Helen is an ancient structure. The living of St. Lawrence's is a perpetual curacy; net income, £175; patrons, the Parishioners. The church was erected in the early part of the 15th century, by John Bottold, and the chancel built by John Baldwyn: in 1808, Sir Robert Kerr Porter, in six days, executed a painting of Our Saviour disputing with the Doctors in the Temple, which he presented to the parish. St. Margaret's is a rectory; net income, £115; patrons, the Trustees of the Rev. Charles Simeon. The church, a handsome and spacious structure, was materially defaced and stripped of its decorations by the parliamentary visitors, who destroyed the paintings, and removed some statues of the Twelve Apostles: the edifice has been greatly improved of late, particularly in 1846. The living of the parish of St. Mary-at-Elms is a perpetual curacy; net income, £80; patrons, the Parishioners. The church is a small edifice of brick, erected on the spot where St. Saviour's church formerly stood. The living of the parish of St. Mary-at-the-Quay is also a perpetual curacy; net income, £103; patrons, the Parishioners. The church was rebuilt, soon after 1448, of stone given for that purpose by Richard Gowty, whose will is dated in that year. The living of the parish of St. Mary Stoke is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12, and in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Ely: the tithes have been commuted for £460, and the glebe comprises 49 acres. The church is an ancient edifice, on the south side of the Orwell. The living of the parish of St. Mary-at-the-Tower is a perpetual curacy; net income, £103; patrons, the Parishioners. There is also a lectureship, endowed by the corporation, who attend divine service here upon all public occasions. The church is spacious, and had formerly a lofty spire; a handsome marble tablet has been erected by subscription among the inhabitants of the town, to the memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Cobbold, a lady distinguished for her literary talents. St. Matthew's is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5, and in the patronage of the Crown. A gallery has been erected in the church, and 140 free sittings provided: it contains the tomb of John, Lord Chedworth, many years chairman of the quarter-sessions. The living of St. Nicholas' is a perpetual curacy; net income, £150; patrons, the Parishioners. The church, an ancient structure, sustained considerable injury from the parliamentarians, in 1648. The living of St. Peter's is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Simeon's Trustees; net income, £138. The church is an ancient edifice, and contains a large font of great antiquity and curious design; the Incorporated Society granted £50 towards repairing the church in 1841, when 252 sittings were added. The living of St. Stephens is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £4. 12. 8½.; net income, £82; patron, the Rev. Mr. Burgiss. Within the precincts of the borough are also the churches of Whitton and Westerfield, and the remains of the chapel of Thurleston, which last have been converted into a barn. There are places of worship for Particular Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, Primitive and Association Methodists, and Unitarians; a Roman Catholic chapel; and a synagogue.
The Free grammar school is of uncertain foundation: it was endowed by Henry VIII. with £38. 13. 4. per annum from the fee-farm rent of the borough, which endowment was confirmed by a charter of Elizabeth in the eighth year of her reign, and subsequently augmented with legacies. There are two scholarships at Pembroke College, Cambridge, for boys educated in the school, with pensions of £3 per annum each, given by William Smart, in 1598; four scholarships with £5 per annum each, founded by Ralph Scrivener, in 1601; two scholarships in Jesus College, Oxford, founded by Thomas Redrick, in 1616; and two exhibitions to the University of Cambridge, one of £14 and the other of £6 per annum, founded in 1621, by Richard Martin, for boys educated in the school, who are also entitled to share with the school of Bury St. Edmund's in a scholarship founded at Trinity College, by Dr. Mopted, in the year 1558. The Blue-coat school was established in 1709; the income amounts to £500. The Red-sleeve school was established in 1752, and is supported by subscription. Henry Tooley, Portman of Ipswich, bequeathed estates, in 1550, for the erection and endowment of almshouses for ten aged persons; the revenue is nearly £1000, and, in addition to those maintained in the almshouses, there are sixty out-pensioners. William Smart, in 1598, bequeathed lands now producing about £480 per annum, for the maintenance and education of children, for the employment of the poor, and other charitable purposes. Christ's hospital, for maintaining and educating children, founded by the corporation in 1569, has an endowment of about £400 per annum, arising from a portion of Mr. Felaw's gift, and from other benefactions; the building, which is near the site of a monastery of Black friars, is also appropriated as a bridewell or house of industry for the employment of the poor. Twelve almshouses were founded in the parish of St. Mary-at-Elms, for aged women, in pursuance of the will of Mrs. Ann Smyth, who, in 1729, bequeathed property now vested in old South Sea annuities, producing £132. 19. per annum. Fifteen almshouses were built in 1515, by Mr. Daundy, in the parish of St. Matthew, to which two were added in 1680, by Mr. Sheppard; and there are also five houses in the churchyard of St. Clement's. Mr. John Pemberton, in 1718, bequeathed estates to establish a fund for paying £25 per annum each to widows and orphans of clergymen of the Established Church; the income has been so far increased by donations and subscriptions, as to enable the trustees to distribute annually £1500, in sums of £30 each. A similar institution, called the Suffolk Benevolent Society, was formed in 1799, by the dissenters; the funds of which have accumulated to £4000. A loan fund has a capital of £3394, the consolidation of several benefactions, for the purpose of lending upon security, without interest, sums of £20 or £25, for ten years, to young persons entering into business. There is also an hospital called the "East Suffolk Hospital." The poor-law union of Ipswich comprises the 12 parishes of the borough, together with Whitton and Westerfield, and contains a population of 25,254.
Among the monastic establishments existing here were a priory of Black canons of the order of St. Augustine, originally founded in 1177, in Christ-Church, and which, being destroyed by fire, was refounded soon after, by John, Bishop of Norwich, for a prior and six canons, whose revenue at the Dissolution was £88. 6. 9.; and a priory of Black canons, founded in the reign of Henry II. by Thomas Lacey and Alice his wife, in honour of St. Peter and St. Paul. Cardinal Wolsey suppressed this latter, and erected on the site his college for a dean, twelve secular canons, eight clerks, and eight choristers, with a grammar school intended as a nursery for his college at Oxford; but upon that statesman's fall, the building was demolished, and only the gateway, an elegant edifice of brick, now remains. A monastery of Black friars, in the parish of St. Mary-at-the-Quay, was founded in the reign of Henry III., of which the existing portions present the most perfect relic of antiquity in the town; they are appropriated to the use of Christ's Hospital, and for the purpose of Tooley's endowment. An hospital for lepers was founded here in the reign of John, and dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene and St. James, There was a monastery of White friars in the centre of the town, of which no vestiges exist; also a house of Grey friars, founded in the reign of Edward I., by Sir Robert Tybetot, of which some portions of the walls are still remaining. In the neighbourhood are several mineral springs; and an ancient warm spring, called Ipswich Spa, was in great repute during the last century, though now not used.
Of distinguished natives of Ipswich, have been, Cardinal Wolsey, who was born in the parish of St. Nicholas, and received the rudiments of his education in the grammar school of the town; Dr. William Butler, physician to James I.; Dr. Laney, successively Bishop of Peterborough, Lincoln, and Ely; Ralph Brownrig, Bishop of Exeter, of which see he was deprived at the commencement of the parliamentary war; Clara Reeve, authoress of The Old English Baron and other works, whose father was for many years minister of St. Nicholas' parish; Mrs. Sarah Trimmer, the ingenious authoress of elementary works for young people; and Thomas Green, author of Extracts from the Diary of a Lover of Literature, and a liberal and enlightened critic. Among eminent persons who have resided here, may be named, Sir Anthony Wingfield, one of the executors to Henry VIII.; Sir Christopher Hatton, lord high chancellor; Sir Harbottle Grimstone, speaker of the house of commons during the Long Parliament; Nathaniel Bacon, grandson of the lord keeper Sir Nicholas Bacon, and author of the Annals of Ipswich, now in the possession of the corporation; Jeremy Collier, master of the free grammar school, and author of an Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain; and Capel Lofft, a learned civilian, elegant writer, and patron of literature. Ipswich gives the title of Viscount to the Duke of Grafton.
From: 'Ingrave - Ipswich', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 614-620. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51063