Do you know Suffolk's county town?

HOW much do you know about Ipswich? A new pocket size book entitled Ipswich-A Miscellany has got all the answers. Reporter James Marston today has had a thumb through.

HOW much do you know about Ipswich? A new pocket size book entitled Ipswich-A Miscellany has got all the answers.

Reporter James Marston today has had a thumb through.

'Ipsitch' - thought by some to be the correct pronunciation of Ipswich.

Gippeswyk Hall is said to be haunted by a White Lady; she has been seen in the upper part of the hall on nights of the full moon.


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McGinty's pub is said to be haunted by the ghost of a monk who was murdered and thrown down a well at Holy Trinity Priory, which once stood on the site of Christchurch Mansion.

During the First World War, Ipswich was hit by a bomb dropped from a Zeppelin airship. The bomb killed a man in the house next door to the Bull Inn, Quay Street, and sightings of his ghost have been reported near the inn.

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The Wolsey Gate is the only surviving part of Cardinal Wolsey's ambitious plan to build a College of Cardinals in Ipswich. The building was started in 1527, and would have been quite extensive. Unfortunately, Wolsey fell from grace when he failed to expedite Henry VIII's divorce from Katherine of Aragon so that the King could marry Anne Boleyn, and it was never completed. The brick gateway seen in the photograph opposite, with its barely discerable royal cipher, is all that remains.

In AD991, 93 Viking dragon ships carrying approximately 3,000 men sailed up the river to sack and pillage Ipswich. The force was led by the Norwegian commander Olaf Tryggvasson. After the attack on Ipswich, the Viking army headed for the Blackwater River estuary and landed on Northey Island, east of Maldon. The ensuing conflict was commemorated in the Anglo-Saxon poem 'The Battle of Maldon'.

The railway arrived in Ipswich in 1846, bringing with it opportunities for further expansion and improvements in the town's prosperity. However, it was not until 1860 that a tunnel was cut through Stoke Hill, thus enabling the line to be continued to Bury St Edmunds and Norwich.

The Unitarian Meeting House in Ipswich was built about 1700. Inside, four great wooden pillars, said to be from ships' masts, form part of the structure, while the carved pulpit is possibly the work of Grinling Gibbons.

The first trolley-buses began running in Ipswich in 1923, and services continued until 1963.

The medieval church of St Mary le Tower (photograph 70402 opposite), for many years Ipswich's principal parish church, gave its name to Tower Street. The original spire collapsed in 1661, victim of a hurricane which swept across the town.

Ipswich town centre contains an all-glass building properly called the Willis Building, but often referred to as the 'Willis-Faber building' by locals. It dates from 1974, and was designed by Norman Foster. It became the youngest Grade I listed building in Britain in 1991.

From 1611 to 1634 Ipswich was a major centre for emigration to New England. This was organised by the Town Lecturer, Samuel Ward, whose brother Nathaniel Ward was the first minister of Ipswich, Massachusetts. A 17th-century portrait of Samuel Ward can be seen in Christchurch Mansion. A plaque on Christ Church in Tacket Street commemorates Rev William Gordon who went to America; he worked for George Washington, and wrote the first account of the American Revolution in 1788.

There was a sugar beet factory at Ipswich for many years, which serviced 787 growers, who produced 800,000 tonnes of beet each year. The factory was closed in 2001.

The Italianate Town Hall was erected in 1867. The four figures below the clock represent Commerce, Agriculture, Learning and Justice.

The Ipswich Hoard of five Iron Age gold torcs, dating from around 75BC, was found during construction work in Ipswich in 1968; a sixth torc was found the following year. Torcs are heavy ornaments worn around the neck, made by twisting two rods of gold around each other. Scientific analysis has shown that the Ipswich torcs are made from an alloy of 90per cent gold and 10pc silver. The Ipswich Hoard is one of Britain's most important Iron Age discoveries, and can be seen in the British Museum.

The painters John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough lived and worked in Ipswich. The art gallery adjoining Christchurch Mansion houses a fine collection of painting by both artists.

Dating from the 15th century, St Margaret's Church is regarded as the finest church in Ipswich. The exterior is richly decorated with stone and flint, while inside stands a monument to Sir Edmund Withipool, who built nearby Christchurch Mansion.

When Daniel Defoe visited Ipswich in 1722, he commented on how many townsfolk used Christchurch Park, likening its popularity to that of Kensington Gardens.

At one time Ipswich had a small grass-runway airport, which ran regular flights to the Netherlands. The area has now been redeveloped into the new residential district of Ravenswood.

The story of how Silent Street got its name is one of the more tragic episodes in the history of Ipswich. All the inhabitants of the street died in the same outbreak of the plague, after which the street became sadly 'silent'.

Katherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, came to the shrine of Our Lady of Grace in Ipswich several times in 1517 to pray for a son - unsuccessfully, as it turned out.

The designer of Nelson's 'Victory', Thomas Slade, is buried in the graveyard of St Clement's, otherwise known as the Sailors' Church, in Ipswich.

Ransome and Rapier was a successful local engineering firm, which was created when Ransomes split. They concentrated on heavy machinery, such as cranes, instead of garden and agricultural machines, and among their impressive list of achievements were the first railway in China, the Aswan high dam in Egypt and the turntable for the revolving restaurant at the Post Office Tower in London. The company was taken over by Robert Maxwell, and closed in 1988.

Ipswich still has 12 medieval churches in the town centre, but only six of them still function as places of worship. St Stephen's is now serving as the Tourist Office.

In 1614, Ipswich was quoted as having more shipwrights than any port in England.

No English town has been lived in by English speaking inhabitants for a longer continuous period than Ipswich - although Colchester has been inhabited for a longer length of time, that includes a period of Roman occupation when the locals presumably spoke Latin or a Celtic language.

Sir Alf Ramsay, the manager who took England to World Cup football victory in 1966, was also a one-time mager of Ipswich Town FC. Sir Alf lived and died in Ipswich, and a statue of him stands opposite the ITFC stadium in Portman Road.

In St Clement's churchyard is the grave of John Woolward, who was killed after being struck by lightning.

Ipswich Town Football Club's record victory and defeat happened just 15 months apart: a 10-0 victory over Floriana in a European match in September 1962 was followed by a 10-1 defeat by Fulham on Boxing Day 1963.

Ipswich and East Suffolk Cricket Club was founded in 1853, and has existed ever since, although from 1936 to 1951 the club survived with no ground of its own. In 1936, Ipswich Town Football Club took over the Portman Road ground that both clubs shared, and the cricket team was unable to find a new home until it moved to Chantry Park in 1951.

Two managers of Ipswich Town Football Club have gone on to manage the England team. Alf Ramsay and Bobby Robson both had success at Ipswich Town FC, winning two major trophies each, before becoming England's two most successful managers. Sir Alf, of course, led England to their World Cup win of 1966, whilst Sir Bobby took England to the semi-final in 1990.

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