Information Centre -
Favorite thing: The Tourist Information Centre in Ipswich was situated in the lovely medieval building of St. Stephen's church, the picture was taken looking from inside the centre towards the entrance.
I especially liked the stained glass window. At the bottom right hand corner, you can just see a font. I have shown it in close up in the next tip.
Sir Thomas Rush
Favorite thing: Thomas Rush, sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, was the most powerful man in Ipswich during the early Tudor years. Although he was a close friend to Henry VIII’s chancellor Thomas Wolsey, he survived Wolsey’s downfall and became an ally of Wolsey’s successor Thomas Cromwell. As a wealthy businessman, he also had a large financial power in the city, which was England’s seventh wealthiest at this time. Rush is buried at St. Stephen’s church (now the tourist information office), where he had his own chapel. You can see the former entrance to the chapel from outside as well as the letter “T” of a former inscription.
When a supermarket was built to the south of St. Stephen’s church, a beam of a half-timbered house was found. This beam shows Rush’s coat of arms, some heraldic symbols such as dragons as well as a large letter “R”. It is believed, that Rush’s house was located on the place where now the supermarket is. The beam now hangs on a wall, next to St. Stephen’s church.
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Next to Rush and Tooley, William Smart is one of the best known merchants of Tudor time Ipswich. He is better known for being the founder of the library in Ipswich. However, he has also made great contributions to the Tooley Almshouses by expanding the structure. So, there is also an inscpription dedicated to Smart with following text: “Let gentle Smart sleep on in pious trust - Behold his charity, respect his dust”. Another place where you will see his name again is “Smart Street”, close to the Almshouses.
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Henry Tooley (in Tudor times, males were always named Henry, Thomas or William – but for some reason never Richard…) was another powerful businessman of Tudor Ipswich. He is best known for his almshouses in foundation street. These were built around 1561, ten years after his death, to give accomodation to the poor and helpless of the city. Several inscriptions dedicated to Tooley can be seen on the walls of the houses, but the largest and best know is the one facing the street with following text: “In powerfull Silence lett great Toolie rest
Whose charitable Deeds bespeak him blest”.
It is not known how much Mr. Tooley had the benefit of the poor in mind rather than his own. One of the requirements for getting a place in the almhouses was to go to nearby St. Mary at the Quay twice a day and pray for the soul of Mr. Tooley. Missing one of the prayers for the third time was a reason to throw you and your family out of the houses. There are still requirements to enter the houses, such as having been an Ipswich resident for a certain time. The prayers for Mr. Tooley are not among them anymore…
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Right in the heart of Ipswich, you will find the Ancient House which dates back to the 15th century. It is reputed to be the hiding place of King Charles II after defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
The building itself is timberframed and is covered with intricate plasterwork. The four panels on the front of the building represent Africa, Asia, Europe and America. Australasia isn't "represented" as it had not been discovered at the time of construction. In the middle of the panels, is a coat of arms from 1670s which is meant to indicate the buildings royal link with Charles II
In 1981, the council had to step in to prevent the building being demolished. Today, the Ancient House is a bookshop.
Favorite thing: While in the information centre, if you do happen to go there, look at the font pictured here.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Ipswich is because my eldest son, wife, and twin daughters (born April 17th 2004) now live here, and of course that is what I miss most when I am away from Ipswich.
Town Hall and Cornhill
Favorite thing: The Town Hall was built in 1868 and is located on the Cornhill (town square).
The Cornhill has been the centre of the town's life since Anglo-Saxon times. In 1555-56, the "Ipswich Martyrs" were burnt at the stake for their Protestant beliefs. In 1644, Widow Lackland was burnt here on the orders of the notorious Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins.
To my knowledge, no-one has been burnt there recently.
Fondest memory: Whenever the football team win a major trophy or championship, there is normally a civic reception. The players are driven through the streets in an open-top bus to the Town Hall where they can stand on the balcony and address the thousands gathered below.
The last civic reception was held in 2000 after Ipswich won promotion to the Premier League via the play-off final. It was the last competitive game held at Wembley Stadium before it was demolished.
Favorite thing: One of the most recognisable buildings in the centre of Ipswich is the Willis Insurance building on Princes Street.
This black, glass building was build in the 1970s and became the first building in the UK from this decade to be given listed status.
Listed buildings in the UK are protected from having there design alternate in order to preserve them
things to do
Favorite thing: there isnt a great deal to do in this town. the bets thing to do is to leave the town and visit the surrounding countryside.
Fondest memory: my fondest memory was leaving for a weekend break.
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