Listed Buildings in Ipswich: No 8 The Woolpack
Although the current, and Grade II listed, red brick frontage dates from the seventeen hundreds ‘The Woolpack’ public house first opened its doors to the public some two centuries earlier. To the north of the town centre, where Westerfield Road and Tuddenham Road converge to form Bolton Lane, the pub was once the local of the 18th century landscape and portrait artist Thomas Gainsborough who lived in nearby Foundation Street. The famed artist was also a musician of no mean repute and played the Woolpack’s pianoforte on a regular basis. The pub sign, which had hung outside the pub until 1981, was later discovered to be an original work by the artist.
It was during the 18th century that the Inn – then on the very extremities of Ipswich – became the regular haunt of traders who, in its smoke filled rooms, would have hammered out the majority of Eastern England’s livestock and poultry trades. The Woolpack was also one of a very limited number of Inn’s able to offer chilled ales during that era thanks to a fast flowing stream that was diverted, using a system of clay pipes, to run underneath the pubs cellar.