Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Ipswich Icons: Gippeswyk Hall once home to Queen Victoria’s favourite medic

11:30 10 January 2016

Gippeswyk Hall

Gippeswyk Hall

Archant

Following the dissolution of the monasteries, the pastures of St Peter’s Priory, which were situated across the river ‘over Stoke’, were divided into six farms and sold to wealthy Ipswich merchants and burgesses, writes John Norman, of The Ipswich Society.

Gippeswyk Hall with cabinGippeswyk Hall with cabin

At this time there was very little by way of habitation south of the river. There was a small community very close to Stoke Bridge but beyond this only rolling hills and areas of rough grazing.

Access from Ipswich was limited; a road followed the west bank of the Orwell from Stoke Bridge to Bourne Bridge and to the villages beyond. A second river crossing much further west at Handford Bridge became a lane climbing the hill to Copdock and the road to Colchester.

The farmland surrounding what became Gippeswyk Park was midway between the crossing points and largely inaccessible (Princes Street bridge wasn’t built until after the station opened in 1860). In the late 1500s the land had been owned by Edward Sulyard who also owned the hillsides around St Mary Stoke Church. In 1576 Sulyard sold the Gippeswyk land to John Knapp and in about 1600 Gippeswyk Hall was built.

Gippeswyk Hall was an Elizabethan farmhouse, the farmyard being diagonally opposite in a fold of the hill alongside Birkfield Drive. John Knapp died in 1604 and the hall was inherited by his second son (also John). His eldest son had unfortunately died very soon after being born in 1564. Members of the Knapp family are buried in St Peter’s church where there is a distinctive gravestone with lattens (brass inserts).

Gippeswyk ParkGippeswyk Park

The coming of the railway in 1846 led to a rapidly increasing population ‘over Stoke’. In the 1830s the population was probably not much more than a thousand souls but as industry developed the number of people living south of the river increased rapidly. Ransome and Rapier, Cocksedges, and Reavell’s all had riverside premises. Ipswich’s loco depot required crew who lived within a few yards of the engine sheds, hence the developments in Croft Street, Station Street and Rectory Road.

Gippeswyk Hall is Tudor but is slightly unusual in that it faces east. On an open plot like this it would be typical to orientate the property with a southerly aspect. This is probably due to the rising ground immediately south of the property. The front has a three-storey porch with stone dressings to the windows over a four-centred arch above the door, all typically Elizabethan, albeit on a smaller property than, for example, Christchurch Mansion. Gippeswyk Hall has been truncated and extended over the centuries, but retains the style of a Tudor building.

When Gippeswyk Hall was no longer required as a farmhouse there was a succession of owners including the Welham, Boyd and Skeet families and towards the end of the 19th Century Sir Alfred Garrod MD, the distinguished physician (1819 – 1907). Garrod started his career at Ipswich Hospital, moved to London in 1843, he was knighted in 1887 and in 1890 appointed physician-extraordinary to Queen Victoria.

In the 20th Century Gippeswyk Hall had a number of commercial uses including the area headquarters for the British Red Cross, a training centre for fork lift truck drivers (with RTT) and as offices.

The Red Rose Chain had been promised a new theatre within the Regatta Quay (flats) development on Ipswich Waterfront but halfway through the contract the developer went into administration, construction work stopped and the shell of the building became known as the Wine Rack. The theatre company moved into the offices at Gippeswyk Hall and decided to try to develop the old portable classrooms at the back of the site. They were successful in a Heritage Lottery Fund bid (in excess of £1million) and held an architectural competition for a new theatre.

The winning entry resembles an old barn which once stood behind the hall, an idea by Charles Currie Hyde in association with Nick Jacobs Architects.

The new Avenue Theatre behind the hall won an Ipswich Society award earlier this year.

See more from The Ipswich Society here

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Chris May's family: Mum Lorraine May and sisters Gemma and Charlene May.

The family of missing Chris May have said they are angered by the knowledge someone knows what has happened to him but have not come forward.

View over Sudbury showing the area that could be used for the bypass.

Preliminary work to secure a much-needed bypass for Sudbury has been praised by a Government minister.

Colchester Institute in Colchester.

A second university is to ‘open up’ in Colchester as a leading north Essex college re-brands to reflect its degree offerings.

A road/rail vehicle used to install new overhead wires at Shenfield in Essex.

If it’s a bank holiday, Network Rail must be closing the main line to London again!

Chris May's family: Mum Lorraine May and sisters Gemma and Charlene May.

The family of missing Kelvedon man Chris May have asked anyone withholding any information which might help solve his disappearance to call police and help end their “suffering”.

Photo issued by Essex Police of James Fairweather. Photo: Essex Police/PA Wire

A double murderer who killed two people in less than three months hopes to appeal his jail sentence on the grounds it is “excessive.”

The fire in Ipswich Road, Naughton was reported at 6.10pm.

Firefighters tackled a chimney blaze in a Suffolk village on Wednesday evening.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24