Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 7°C


Ipswich: Fresh hope on the horizon for Wolsey’s Gate

09:42 28 August 2012


Wolsey's Gate, Ipswich


FOR centuries it has been one of the main links between the town and its most famous son – but for decades Wolsey’s Gate has appeared an abandoned relic beside one of the busiest roads in the town.


But now there is hope that with a small land purchase, it could become a major feature of one of Ipswich’s most valuable heritage sites.

The Gate itself is owned and maintained by the borough council. Although it faces on to College Street – one of the major routes around the Waterfront – experts agree that the condition of the brickwork is actually sound.

However while Wolsey’s Gate is owned by the borough, the land immediately behind it is part of the site of the proposed St Peter Port Development.

Local historian Dr John Blatchly said if the borough was able to buy a small strip of land behind the gate it would be able to integrate it with St Peter’s Churchyard which is right next to it.

Cardinal Wolsey

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Henry VIII’s Chancellor, established the Cardinal College of St Mary the Virgin in his home town in 1528 – incorporating the Medieval church of St Peter as its chapel.

The building was never fully completed because Wolsey fell from favour in 1530 and died on his way to London where he was due to go on trial.

After his death, Henry VIII seized all Wolsey’s assets – including the college – and many of the bricks were used to build Hampton Court palace.

The College was actually a school which had been founded in Medieval times – Wolsey had wanted it to be a rival to Eton College – and survived by returning to its previous premises.

Over the next few centuries it occupied several different properties before it moved into its current home in Henley Road as Ipswich School in 1852.

“You would only need about six feet – although 10 feet would be wonderful! You would need to get permission to make a gap in the wall of the churchyard, but it would be ideal to have the gate integrated into that site.

“Wolsey’s Gate was the watergate to the College. When it was built (in the 1520s) the river came right up to where College Street is now and the gate opened straight on to the river. It is in the right place and it is in good condition. It just needs to be in the right setting.”

A spokesman for Applekirk, which owns the land, said there had been no contact from the borough and it was not possible to comment on a subject that had never been considered.

The company had worked with the borough to get Wolsey’s Gate cleared of rubbish and graffiti earlier this summer.

Ipswich Council leader David Ellesmere said the authority would be interested in talking to the owners of the land about buying a strip.

He said: “Wolsey’s Gate is important to the town and we would like to find a way of enhancing it. It has been maintained and is in a good condition, but if there is any chance of taking on a small strip of land to link it with the churchyard we would like to look at that.

“I will speak to officers about talking to the landowners to see if it would be possible to buy a strip of land there so it could be linked to the churchyard.”

The Ipswich Star is championing projects like this that will help regenerate our town through the I Love Ipswich campaign.

Should the borough buy a strip of land to improve the setting of the gate? E-mail or register to leave your comments here.



Needham Road in Stowmarket where the crash took place

An 81-year-old cyclist who sustained serious injuries following a collision in Stowmarket last week has died.

Glen Chisholm with baby Clinton 18 years ago.

Eighteen years ago the Ipswich Hospital Neonatal Unit saved the life of premature baby Clinton Chisholm.

The new bridge over Bramford Road takes shape.

It is 30 years since the face of Ipswich was changed completely with the opening of the final section of the town’s southern bypass.

Ipswich Basketball Club prepare for the new season at Copleston Sports Centre.

Copleston Sports Centre and Ipswich Basketball Club plea for investors to make long-awaited dream a reality

Michael Scott, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust . Photo: Steve Adams

A lack of beds and increased demand led to a four-fold increase in the cost of sending people with mental health problems outside of Norfolk and Suffolk in 2014/15.

Poundworld opens in Ipswich

The fourth bargain-basement shop in Ipswich town centre opened this morning.

The area in Clarkson Street where two gangs fought on September 23

Four people were arrested in drug raids carried out at six premises in the Wilberforce Street and Clarkson Street areas of Ipswich yesterday.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance is in attendance.

A woman has suffered a “potentially life-changing” head injury during a crash in Beccles.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

Two drivers are paying the price after being caught travelling at more than 100mph on Suffolk’s roads.

A cyclist and a car collided on the St Augustine's roundabout in Ipswich.

A female cyclist has been taken to hospital after colliding with a car in Ipswich.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages