Archive for June, 2011

Ipswich Museum and neighbourhood

Ipswich Museum

Art Museum

Listed Buildings in Ipswich: No 30 Ipswich Museum and No 31 Art Gallery

The original Ipswich Museum – now Arlingtons Brasserie – stands on the corner of Arcade Street and Museum Street. It opened in 1847 but its various collections soon outstripped the space available to display and store them and by 1881 a new Ipswich Museum had been built on the High Street half-a-mile away. This new building also housed the School of Art and the Free Library but once again its contents continued to outgrow the space available and it was first extended in 1887 and then had a new wing added in 1901.

The library relocated to what is now the Ipswich County Library on Northgate Street in 1924 but what is left behind is by no means watered down. The main entrance hall is, I would imagine, pretty much as it was when first opened and is stuffed to the gunnel’s with exhibits, starting with the impressively big Wooly Mammouth that towers over you as you first enter. Natural History is the key theme but there are as equally excellent exhibits focusing on Ipswich at War, abolitionist Thomas Clarkson, Anglo-Saxon life, and so and so forth.

Salem Chapel

Listed Buildings in Ipswich: No 32 Salem Chapel, St George’s Street

Originally constructed as a chapel this 19th century two storey red brick building later became a storage area for the Ipswich Museum and Art Gallery (which it backs on to) and is now the New Wolsey Studio a performing arts venue and offshoot of the town’s New Wolsey Theatre. The original baptism pool survives below the present day flooring and stage.

Globe Inn

Listed Buildings in Ipswich: No 33 Globe Inn, St George’s Street

At the town center end of St George’s Street this 17th century timber framed building with jettied upper floor is now in residential use but was at one time the Globe Inn. The Inn called “last orders” way back in 1958 but, despite an excellent restoration job by the Ipswich Building Preservation Trust, you can you can still make out the words ‘Cobbold’s Ales & Spirits’ – or something very similar – in the plasterwork on the front.

Ipswich Art School

Ipswich Art School

Just to the north of Ipswich Museum, the Ipswich Art School opened as a public art gallery just last year although, as its name suggests, the building operated as an art school for many years. Opened in 1934, when the school outgrew its original accommodation adjacent to Ipswich Museum, most of Suffolk’s professional artists from the past century have passed through its doors either as student of teacher. It is currently hosting an exhibit entitled “Roadside Britian – On the Road” a photography reportage of traditional roadside services throughout the South of England.


Lucanus cervus

The wife discovered a stag beetle making its way across our lawn this evening. She pointed it out to me and I in turn I pointed it out to junior, and so within a few minutes there were three of us down on hands and knees following it as it made its way to the garden border. Not quite sure what any watching neighbour must have thought. I don’t think I’ve seen a stag beetle since I was quite young and a quick bit of research suggests that the UK’s largest terrestrial insect is becoming very scarce indeed.

Tam and Triptych

Artathon 8 of 47: Tam and 9 of 47: Triptych


‘Tam’, a bronze statue of a young girl, is located on a small area of grass adjacent to St Mary at the Elms Church, on the corner of Black Horse Lane and Elm Street. Created by the artist Honoria Surie – and modelled by and named after her daughter – the piece and its location hold no special significance but it’s an attractive looking piece nonetheless.


The ‘Triptych’ is a set of three limestone sculptures set in the porch of the aforementioned St Mary Church in the niches that would have been occupied by medieval equivalents prior to the reformation. They depict Christ, the Virgin Mary and St John the Evangelist and were dedicated in 2006.


Artathon 7 of 47: Ship


The ‘Ship’ is located on the Civic Centre Roundabout and is passed by thousands of motorists each day who – for the most part – I would guess are oblivious to it’s meaning, as was I until I read the blurb in the Artathon brochure. Commissioned in 1971 it won the Otto Beit Medal for Sculpture for its designer Bernard Reynolds the following year, and “aims to symbolise ships and shipping of all periods, and therefore Ipswich’ s long history as a port”.

St Peter’s Gates

Artathon 6 of 47: St Peter’s Gates

St Peter's Gates

St Peters Gates (the left hand gate is pictured here) were commissioned by the Ipswich Hospital Band who, with the aid of Lottery Funding in 2006, converted the former St Peter’s Church into a centre for Music and the Arts. They have been fashioned from steel by the artist Paul Richardson who was responsible for a much more prominent sculpture for the town in the shape of ‘The Major’. But more on that later in the series.

Crows Nest

Artathon 5 of 47: Crows Nest

Crows Nest

The ‘Crows Nest’ (the stainless steel tripod in the foreground) looks out over Ipswich docks from Stoke Quay. A light at the top of the structure is set on when approached by car or pedestrian and fades out as the vehicle or person moves off. In the background is ‘The Mill‘ which, at 23 storeys, is East Anglia’s tallest building.

John Greig

Football Statues No 45 (in a series of several): John Greig (1942 -)

John Greig spent his entire playing career with just the one club. Between 1961 and 1978 he made in excess of seven hundred appearances for Glasgow Rangers (the majority of them as captain) and scored over a hundred goals. Perhaps his most notable achievement came in 1972 when he led the side to their first ever European trophy success, Rangers beating Moscow Dynamo 3-2 in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Greig’s years at Ibrox coincided with a period of Celtic dominance but he still managed a pretty decent haul of five Scottish Championship medals, six Scottish FA Cup winners’ medals, four Scottish League Cup winners’ medals along with the medal secured after the ECWC win. Twice voted Scottish Footballer of the Year his move into management with Rangers between 1978 and 1983 yielded a further two Scottish FA Cup and two Scottish League Cup victories.

Picture from here.