Buildings we've loved...and lost

AS the Waterfront development progresses at a pace, the face of Suffolk is changing. History is making way for modern flats, hotels and cafes. Today features editor TRACEY SPARLING looks back on the landmark buildings Suffolk has loved and lost over the years.

By Tracey Sparling

AS the Waterfront development progresses at a pace, the face of Suffolk is changing. History is making way for modern flats, hotels and cafes. Today features editor TRACEY SPARLING looks back on the landmark buildings Suffolk has loved and lost over the years.

THEY were once the landmarks which gave us a sense of place in our hometowns.

Towering above the surrounding structures, or nestled at the heart of Suffolk industry, they were key buildings which we passed on a daily basis.

We might not have loved them all, but most people certainly recognised them at a glance.

Yet in the relenting path of progress, there came a time when their days were finally up. They disappeared - plunged into a pile of brick dust at the press of a button, or were clawed apart by machinery to make way for modern equivalents more suited to our changing lives.

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Today many remain as just a memory, locked in the past which the people of this county share.

Here are a few of the gone-but-not-forgotten sights of Suffolk.


Do you remember -maybe for a special reason - any landmarks which have been demolished? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN or email

A piece of Ipswich's industrial heritage bit the dust when Cranfield's office block on College Street started being demolished last September. Parts of the concrete 1950s-built grain silo were taken down piece by piece. When complete, the new development at Cranfields will include a 23-storey block with new flats, shops, restaurants, and a new centre for Dance East.

St Peter's Warehouse was consumed by a major fire in April 2000. It still stands today as a blackened shell of what it once was.

Felixstowe's former convalescent home and social club at the Herman de Stern building, hit the headlines in September last year. Crowds turned out to watch it consumed by flames.

Developers had earmarked it for a new arts centre.

Campaigners tried in vain to save Felixstowe's Beach Station, a 127-year-old Victorian building, but bulldozers moved in on Easter Sunday 2004.

The former premises of Websters Auction House in Great Colman Street in Ipswich was demolished in June last year to make way for new apartments and an office. Eric Webster who founded the firm died in 2000, and his son took on the business until its closure in 2002.

There was a big bang at TXU in Russell Road, Ipswich in July 2002. A controlled explosion razed the building to the ground so the site could be redeveloped - it eventually became Endeavour House, home to Suffolk County Council.

All buildings on the site of St John's United Reformed Church in Ipswich were demolished in 1987 to make way for the construction of multi-purpose premises. The church dates back to 1853 when the area was being developed by the Ipswich and Suffolk Freehold Land Society - known today as Ipswich Building Society.

Ipswich Airport was opened in June 1930 by the Prince of Wales who flew into the new airfield to perform the official opening. The Second World War saw RAF Martlesham grow into a fighter base and for 60 years any development at Ipswich was overshadowed by military activity. The council closed the airport in the 1990s to redevelop the site for housing. Flying from Ipswich to your holiday was once possible with a small channel islands airline based at Southend which had a feeder service from Ipswich.

One of the best known hotels in Ipswich was lost in 2003. The Marlborough Hotel in Henley Road closed when the Salthouse Hotel opened on Ipswich waterfront in the summer. Staff and bookings from the Marlborough transferred to the owners' new hotel.

The Pier Pavilion at Felixstowe hosted shows which many remember, from displays and dances to pop concerts, before it was demolished in 1983 to make way for Felixstowe Leisure Centre.

St Matthews Baths Hall played host to some of the great names in music during the 1960s including Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Its importance as a music venue declined in the early 1970s as bands played at the Gaumont (now the Regent) and the Corn Exchange.

The baths closed in 1984 with the opening of Crown Pools. Part of the building was demolished, some was converted into offices called Hubbard House, and the hall still stands today.

Martlesham Heath airfield was the oldest in Suffolk until it was closed in 1963. The history of the airfield dates back to January 16 1917 when the Royal Flying Corps moved its testing squadron to the site. In 1918 the station became RAF Martlesham Heath and during the Second World War every land-based aircraft that entered service went to Martlesham for evaluation, before the site was handed over to the US Army Air Force. Much of the site is now Adastral Park, with the control tower home to Martlesham Heath Aviation Society's museum.

Barley Mow hotel, high st 1966

Ransomes in duke st 1969

Ipswich market cross

Bury St Edmunds Abbey


Haughley Castle

Ipswich Castle

Holywells Mansion, 1950s

Henham Hall (near Southwold) 1952

Greyfriars (not exactly loved, but certainly remembered) 1980s

In November 1994, the three chimneys at the former Cliff Quay Power Station succumbed to the demolition man.

In June 2000, the Crane chimney in Nacton Road Ipswich came tumbling down.

It made a dramatic picture when Blue Circle at Claydon demolished this chimney in November 2000.

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