Days Gone By: What makes The Saints area of Ipswich such a special place?

Australian acrobat Eddie Ash performing an amazing publicity stunt on the roof of the Hippodrome The

Australian acrobat Eddie Ash performing an amazing publicity stunt on the roof of the Hippodrome Theatre in St Nicholas Street, Ipswich in the 1950�s. The Hippodrome opened as a music hall in 1905. The building became the Savoy Dance Hall soon after the theatre closed in the late 1950's. After a period as a bingo hall the building was demolished in 1985. An office block now stands on the site. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

St Nicholas Street and St Peter’s Street in Ipswich are known as The Saints, writes David Kindred.

The Hand in Hand public house was at 52-54 St Peters Street until it closed in 1981. Part of the Nov

The Hand in Hand public house was at 52-54 St Peters Street until it closed in 1981. Part of the Novotel now stands here. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

The streets are home to several restaurants and small, independent shops and businesses.

The streets are some of the oldest in Ipswich and still have many buildings dating back centuries. Several of the public houses in St Nicholas Street have closed, including the Oxborrows, the Hand in Hand and the Rose.

St Peter’s stands where there has been a church since at least the late Saxon period. In 1527, Cardinal Wolsey, who was born in Ipswich, closed the priory and took the site to build a new college with St Peter’s Church as the chapel. The project was short lived when Wolsey fell from favour.

St Nicholas Church was where the Wolsey family worshipped during the cardinal’s boyhood. St Nicholas Church is now the St Nicholas Centre with the Sanctuary Cafe and St Peter’s is now a centre for music and arts.

St Peters Street, Ipswich in June 1957. At the corner of Cutler Street is the Sailors Rest building,

St Peters Street, Ipswich in June 1957. At the corner of Cutler Street is the Sailors Rest building, a facility for seamen run by the British Sailors Society. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

A statue honouring Wolsey now stands at the junction of St Nicholas Street, Silent Street and St Peter’s Street.

Although the businesses have changed and some buildings have been replaced, “The Saints” would be recognisable today to visitors from many decades ago.

The Oxborrows Hotel, at 35-39 St Peters Street, closed as a public house in the 1980, but operated a

The Oxborrows Hotel, at 35-39 St Peters Street, closed as a public house in the 1980, but operated as a restaurant until 1997. The building is now converted to offices. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Crowds outside the Hippodrome Theatre in August 1944. The Hippodrome opened as a music hall in 1905

Crowds outside the Hippodrome Theatre in August 1944. The Hippodrome opened as a music hall in 1905. The building became the Savoy Dance Hall soon after the theatre closed in the late 1950s. After a period as a bingo hall the building was demolished in 1985. An office block now stands on the site. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

The Rose Inn, St Peters Street, at the Corner of Rose Lane in June 1948. The Rose closed in November

The Rose Inn, St Peters Street, at the Corner of Rose Lane in June 1948. The Rose closed in November 1969 and is now used as offices. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

St Peters Street in the 1960s, from a silo at the dock. St Peters Church is on the right. A branch o

St Peters Street in the 1960s, from a silo at the dock. St Peters Church is on the right. A branch of Barclays Bank is on the left at the corner of Greyfriars Road, The Hand in Hand public house is second left. The Novotel Hotel now stands here. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

An Edwardian photograph of St Peters Street with the tower of St Peters Church in the background. Th

An Edwardian photograph of St Peters Street with the tower of St Peters Church in the background. The Rose public house is on the left. Buildings on the right were then being demolished to widen the road. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

The Wolsey Pharmacy at the junction of St Nicholas Street (left) and Silent Street as it was around

The Wolsey Pharmacy at the junction of St Nicholas Street (left) and Silent Street as it was around 1910. These buildings have since had the timbers exposed. This building has often been quoted as the birthplace of Cardinal Wolsey although the exact place of his birth is unknown. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

The buildings at the junction of Falcon Street and St Nicholas Street, Ipswich, were for sale as lot

The buildings at the junction of Falcon Street and St Nicholas Street, Ipswich, were for sale as lots when this photograph was taken in the early years of the twentieth century. They were later demolished. The girls on the left were at the door of the Falcon public house. Three different buildings traded as the Falcon dating back to a least 1610. The present building on the site is now known as Bowmans. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

St Peters Street looking towards Silent Street. These buildings have changed very little since this

St Peters Street looking towards Silent Street. These buildings have changed very little since this photograph was taken around 1912. Picture: DAVID KINDRED