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.


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