Ipswich: Celebrating our local heritage as we call for town’s history to be recognised

PUBLISHED: 15:35 22 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:35 22 March 2013

Richard Felaw’s house in Foundation Street shortly before demolition in 1964

Richard Felaw’s house in Foundation Street shortly before demolition in 1964

NO English town has a longer history than our own – so let’s give it the profile it so richly deserves.

We should start by proclaiming its unique place in England – as the oldest Anglo-Saxon settlement – to everyone visiting the town.

That’s The Star’s rallying cry today – with the plea to make the most of Ipswich’s amazing past.

It’s the town of Wolsey and of Chaucer’s family. It’s the town from which English troops set out at the start of the 100 years war. And it’s the town that was at the centre of the crisis which changed the course of our monarchy. Let’s celebrate our incredible heritage!

Ipswich lost some of its heritage in “modernisation” schemes since the end of the Second World War.

Historic streets were bulldozed to make way for the instantly-hated Greyfriars centre which lasted less than 20 years after it was built in 1965.

Holywells Mansion, built in the early 19th Century, was demolished in 1962, and other historic streets were changed to allow new roads to be built around the town centre.

One of the most serious losses was the demolition of Richard Felaw’s House in Foundation Street.

This dated from the 15th Century and was the original home of Ipswich School, before it moved to Wolsey’s College.

It was the school attended by Thomas Wolsey.

However in 1964 the planners could not see any future for this historic building and it was demolished. The land remained vacant for about two decades before the NCP multi-storey car park was built on the site.

We need to act now, to preserve the remaining heritage and put Ipswich on the map as England’s oldest town.

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