Things to do in Ipswich, Suffolk
Ipswich is one of the oldest towns in England and geographically was at the centre of many rural towns and settlements; all linked by the Gipping and Orwell rivers that provided transport.
The discovery of a ship-burial on nearby farmland showed the area was inhabited by Anglo-Saxons from the 7th century and replicas of treasures from both historic sites are on display in Ipswich Museum.In the 8th century Ipswich Dock was of great importance commercially with trade to Scandinavia and Europe.
The town had a mint and coins had "Gippes" embossed onto each coin, the abbreviation for Gippeswick.
Ipswich was mentioned by Geoffrey Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was born in the town and centuries later, artist Thomas Gainsborough lived and worked in Ipswich.
Present Day Ipswich
Ipswich's waterfront has undergone extensive restoration turning the former industrial dock into a residential and commercial centre.It is now overlooked by luxury apartments, restaurants and Suffolk University College buildings.
The harbour is used mainly for leisure boats and luxury yachts.
The town has many cobbled streets, narrow passageways and half-timbered buildings.
It has several historic breweries including the Tolly Cobbold Brewery which was founded in 1746 and was recently taken over by Ridley's.
Old inns, stables, breweries and an 18th century coach house can all be found in the town centre.
In contrast, the glass-clad Willis Building was completed in 1974 and became the youngest building ever to be Grade I listed just 15 years later.
Things to do in Ipswich
Explore the historic town on a walking tour and discover the Unitarian Meeting House, Christchurch Mansion, the Ancient House and Isaac Lord Merchant's House.
Sutton Hoo was an important 6-7th century Anglo-Saxon burial site with an undisturbed ship burial. It was excavated in 1939 and found to be one of the most magnificent discoveries in England with helmets, silver bowls, swords and personal decorative items.
Visit Christchurch Park to see the monument erected in remembrance of the Ipswich Martyrs who were burned at the stake for their protestant faith between 1538 and 1558.
Art lovers will enjoy a trip to Flatford Bridge, immortalized by Constable's painting of the mill, or visit the lovely historic home and gardens at Sudbury, Gainsborough's birthplace.