Days Gone By - Looking back at the development of the Buttermarket in Ipswich town centre

The Buttermarket complex is being transformed and will house a gym, restaurants and a multi-screen c

The Buttermarket complex is being transformed and will house a gym, restaurants and a multi-screen cinema - Janice Poulson - Credit: citizenside.com

The Buttermarket Centre in Ipswich is currently being converted to include a 12-screen cinema and chain restaurants including Wagamama, writes David Kindred.

An artist's impression of the Arras Square to the Buttermarket - as it should look later this year.

An artist's impression of the Arras Square to the Buttermarket - as it should look later this year. - Credit: Archant

The complex opened October 1, 1992 and in this week’s Days Gone By, I feature photographs of the site over several decades. Shops and works on the site were demolished in the 1980s, creating an opportunity for an archaeological dig on the site, part of which had been the town’s provisions market from about 1810, until moving to the Corn Exchange over seventy years later.

This aerial photograph was taken in May 1989, soon before building work started.

A large area of the Ipswich town centre was cleared in preparation for construction of the Buttermar

A large area of the Ipswich town centre was cleared in preparation for construction of the Buttermarket Shopping Centre

The W. S. Cowell department store was still standing. The Old Cattle Market is in the foreground.

Here you can see the building mid-demolition, this photo was taken in 1989.

W. S Cowells department store in the Buttermarket during demolition in 1989 - Photo by Charlie Girl

W. S Cowells department store in the Buttermarket during demolition in 1989 - Photo by Charlie Girling

The shop was built in 1892. Market Lane, off to the right, which connected through to Falcon Street, was lost to the redevelopment.

Demolition of W S Cowell’s department store was complete when this photograph was taken in 1989. The main entrance to the complex from Buttermarket is close to here, with the recently opened New Look store, where the diggers are working.

Demolition of W S Cowells department store was complete when this photograph was taken in 1989 - Ph

Demolition of W S Cowells department store was complete when this photograph was taken in 1989 - Photo by Charlie Girling

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The building in the right background was once the Grand Hotel, which closed in 1928. It is now a TSB bank. Waterstones book shop is now in the building in the centre background.

The next photo shows The Old Cattle Market, Ipswich, from Dogs Head Street, in the late 1980s, as demolition of small shops was started.

The Old Cattle Market, Ipswich, from Dogs Head Street, in the late 1980s - Photo by Charlie Girling

The Old Cattle Market, Ipswich, from Dogs Head Street, in the late 1980s - Photo by Charlie Girling

They included The Griddle Cafe, The Golden Fish, and The Classic, greengrocers.

W S Cowell’s print works in Market Lane is shown in this photograph. It was taken from the Old Cattle Market during demolition in the 1980s by Charlie Girling.

W S Cowells print works in Market Lane, Ipswich, photographed from the Old Cattle Market - Photo by

W S Cowells print works in Market Lane, Ipswich, photographed from the Old Cattle Market - Photo by Charlie Girling

This shows St Stephens Lane, Ipswich, from the Old Cattle Market, in the 1980s.

All of the buildings on the left were demolished including The Griddle cafe.

St Stephens Lane, Ipswich, from the Old Cattle Market, in the 1980s - Photo by Charlie Girling

St Stephens Lane, Ipswich, from the Old Cattle Market, in the 1980s - Photo by Charlie Girling

The recently opened New Look Store now stands on this site. The buildings in the background are in the Buttermarket.

A Habitat shop was then where Waterstones book shop is now.

The recently opened New Look Store now stands on this site - Photo by Charlie Girling

The recently opened New Look Store now stands on this site - Photo by Charlie Girling

The Post Office sorting office on the Old Cattle Market in 1982, it was built in the 1920s and demolished in the 1980s, then replaced by the present post office building at the junction of Princes Street and Grafton Way.

Did you work here?

The Post Office sorting office on the Old Cattle Market in 1982 - Photo by Richard Snasdell/Archant

The Post Office sorting office on the Old Cattle Market in 1982 - Photo by Richard Snasdell/Archant

These buildings in Falcon Street, including the Ipswich Fish Restaurant were demolished.

Do you have memories of this restaurant?

These buildings in Falcon Street, including the Ipswich Fish Restaurant (right) were demolished - Ph

These buildings in Falcon Street, including the Ipswich Fish Restaurant (right) were demolished - Photo by Charlie Girling

This part of the Buttermarket shopping centre was built as a shopping arcade, but few of the units were ever filled. It was converted to a single unit and BHS moved from their site in Tavern Street to there.

This photograph was taken from the tower of St Stephens Church, now the Tourist Information Centre, in October 1991.

This part of the Buttermarket shopping centre was built as a shopping arcade- Photo Jerry Turner

This part of the Buttermarket shopping centre was built as a shopping arcade- Photo Jerry Turner

January 1991 and the early stages of the building was taking shape.

This view from the tower of St Stephen’s Church has Falcon Street in the left background.

January 1991 and the early stages of the building was taking shape - Photo by Paul Nixon/Archant

January 1991 and the early stages of the building was taking shape - Photo by Paul Nixon/Archant

The Buttermarket Shopping Centre is in the centre of this 1994 aerial photograph taken from over Upper Orwell Street looking west.

It already looks dramatically different after ongoing refurbishment works.

The Buttermarket Shopping Centre is in the centre of this 1994 aerial photograph - Photo by David Ki

The Buttermarket Shopping Centre is in the centre of this 1994 aerial photograph - Photo by David Kindred/Archant

October 1991 and with the opening of the Buttermarket Shopping Centre a year away the entrance from St Stephen’s Lane was taking shape. This photograph was taken from the tower of St Stephen’s Church. Now 25 years later this area is being altered as one of the entrances to the complex.

This round structure over the entrance is all that will remain of the original frontage once the redevelopment is complete.

October 1991 - the year before the centre opened - Photo by Jerry Turner/Archant

October 1991 - the year before the centre opened - Photo by Jerry Turner/Archant

Keen amateur photographer Charlie Girling took photographs of changes to Ipswich for over 60 years. Several of his photographs are featured in this week’s Days Gone By.

Charlie worked at W S Cowell’s printers and took this photograph of colleagues by their sand bag, air raid trenches in Falcon Street, during the Second World War. The buildings in Falcon Street (right background) are still there today. Where the men are standing is now close to the entrance to the Buttermarket Shopping Centre car park.

Keen amateur photographer Charlie Girling took this photograph of colleagues by their sand bag, air

Keen amateur photographer Charlie Girling took this photograph of colleagues by their sand bag, air raid trenches in Falcon Street, during World War Two.

• Do you have memories of any of the shops featured in the photographs? Contact David Kindred via email