St Clement Church

Listed Buildings in Ipswich: No 13 St Clement Church

St Clement Church

Despite having two of the towns centres busiest roads – Star Lane and Grimwade Street – on its north and eastern sides the mainly 15th century St Clement has the nicest setting of the Ipswich’s three dockland churches (St Peter’s and the Church of St Mary at the Quay being the other two). No longer a place of worship it is maintained by The Ipswich Historic Churches Trust that was established in 1979 to care for the medieval churches in the town centre that had, or were about to, become redundant as places of worship.

St Clement’s has suffered from its fair share of vandalism including an arson attack in 1995 that left the roof needing major repairs. In line with the regeneration of Ipswich docks it has great potential for public use in conjunction with the adjacent – and predominantly residential – development and may possibly even find itself part of University Campus Suffolk’s plans.

In the churchyard is a memorial to Sir Thomas Slade a surveyor to the Royal Navy who married a local girl, Hannah Moore, in 1747. By 1755 he had risen to the post of Master Shipwright at Deptford and would go on to revolutionise naval ship building, designing many famous ships, including HMS Victory.

There is also a memorial to the famous Ipswich born mariner and explorer Thomas Eldred somewhere in the churchyard – although I’ve not be able to find it. Eldred was an Ipswich merchant and mariner who sailed with Thomas Cavendish (himself born just outside the town in the village of Trimley St. Martin) on the second English circumnavigation of the world from 1586 to 1588. Sir Francis Drake’s voyage from 1577 to 1580 having been the very first.

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