Gallery: Kindred Spirits - Looking back at the ever-changing Ipswich Cornhill
With plans to alter the Cornhill, Ipswich, presently stalled, David Kindred has taken a look at the changes this centrepiece of the town has seen since Victorian times.
Most of the building on the Cornhill are Victorian. The earliest photographs are from the 1850s. These give us an accurate record of how buildings have changed in around 160 years.
In medieval times this area was also known as Market Hill. The earliest plan of the town centre is John Speed’s map of 1610, showing how the main through routes met at the only large open space within the town ramparts.
Looking at the photographs it is difficult to think the area was once cluttered with wires, poles and posts for trams and later trolley buses. Bus shelters were a central feature until the area was paved to give space for large gatherings.
Until the 1970s visitors to the Town Hall could park vehicles in front of the building. Before the traffic lights were installed a policeman would control traffic at the junction with Lloyds Avenue.
A route from Tower Ramparts to the Cornhill was not in the original plan when the impressive structure, by local architect T. W. Cotman, was built on the north side in 1889. It was then the bank of Bacon, Cobbold and Tollemache and shops.
The now pedestrianised archway was cut through and opened to traffic in 1930.
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Are there features in these photographs you would like to see returned to the Cornhill, do you like it the way it is, or is it in need of a makeover?
Share your thought by emailing David Kindred