Pictures of Ipswich
This is a town that can trace its history back to the Stone-Age, it has been a successive settlement throughout the ages and has been populated by settlers from the Iron-Age, Roman period and by Anglo-Saxons.
Its Royal Charter was granted by King John in the year 1200, and the town is proud of its long maritime traditions covering centuries of trading, particularly in Suffolk cloth which was despatched to all parts of Europe from its port on the estuary of the River Orwell.
Ipswich is fortunate in its rich collection of historic buildings, one of the most important is the ancient house in the Butter Market - a 15th-century building extravagantly decorated with ornate plasterwork and a centrepiece formed by the coat of arms of King Charles II.
Christchurch Mansion is an amazing red brick Tudor country house built on the site of where an Augustinian priory once stood. This was disbanded during the reign of Henry VIII and was later purchased by the Withypoll family who built the house we see today. Later, during the 18th-century the house became the property of a London merchant of Huguenot descent. At this time the house was added to, features of the extension included a state bedroom with ornate plasterwork. In 1892 Felix Cobold bought the property and gave it to Ipswich to be opened as a museum. Today visitors can see rich and varied collections including paintings by noted Suffolk artists Constable, Gainsborough and Munnings. Also on show is an excellent collection of fine furniture, porcelain made locally in Lowestoft from 1757 - 1799, and Tudor and Stuart portraits of early Suffolk aristocracy.
The town is famous as the birthplace of Cardinal Wolsey who is thought to have been born in Silent Street in around 1475. In 1528 he founded a college here, but this was abandoned when he fell from grace. All that is preserved of the college buildings is the red brick gateway in College Street.
At the heart of Ipswich is Christchurch Park, this green and pleasant place has been open to generations of towns folk and visitors since the 18th-century. It now provides a delightful venue for open air concerts and fairs, it also has a beautiful arboreta, a bird garden and children's play area. St. Margaret's Church lies to the edge of the park bordering Sloane Street and Bolton Lane, this shows parts of its 13th-century origins and restoration work from the 17th-century. With its ancient windows and many historic treasures this is a church well worth seeing.
Today, with smart shopping centres, excellent leisure and entertainment facilities, Ipswich has become a centre for business and commerce offering all that is best for modern day living while destroying nothing of its strong links with the past. It therefore makes an excellent place in which to tarry and enjoy all this fine town has to offer or an ideal centre for exploring the rivers Orwell, Deben and Stour.
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