Ipswich School announced as new owner of Anglesea Heights
PUBLISHED: 15:53 03 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:56 04 January 2019
One of Ipswich’s most prominent buildings has a new owner, and we can exclusively reveal their identity today.
Ipswich School has bought Anglesea Heights, in Anglesea Road, which has stood empty for several months.
Headmaster Nicholas Weaver said: “We are very excited to have completed the purchase of Anglesea Heights, which is a long term investment for Ipswich School.
“It is part of our strategy to secure nearby land, should it become available, for our long-term future.
He added: “We recognise that Anglesea Heights, particularly the iconic centerpiece at the top of Berners Street, is a very important part of the town’s heritage, along with the other Ipswich School buildings in the area.
“We are sure that it will prove a long-term asset with a great benefit for the future of the school, and indeed the town.”
Mystery had surrounded the future of the historic building, which housed a Bupa care home until the beginning of last year.
The facility closed over a “lack of local demand”, with only 40 people living there despite a capacity for 120.
A planning application went in to clean up the site in late 2018.
In December, it emerged the building had been sold but the sellers remained tight-lipped about who had bought it.
Michelle Smith, acquisitions director for Bupa, said: “I’m delighted that the site has been acquired by Ipswich School, meaning it will continue its long history of serving the local community.”
Ewan Dodds, chief executive of Whybrow added: “We have been delighted to act for Ipswich School in the negotiations of this landmark building on the town’s skyline for Bupa against strong competition.
“We are sure the addition of this extensive site and further buildings immediately adjacent to the school and prep building will prove an excellent investment for Ipswich School, and will help them to build their educational offering in future years.
There was a lot of interest in the complex and viewings of the building were well attended, Mr Dodds said.
Mr Weaver said no firm plans have been drawn up yet, but it is hoped that it will allow for further expansion at the school.
The changing face of Anglesea Heights
The historic site has featured on Ipswich’s skyline for several decades.
It was once home to Anglesea Road Hospital, which opened in August 1836 with 50 beds, after £2,500 was raised by the public.
A third storey was added to it in 1869, and a children’s wing erected in 1875, as a memorial to former Ipswich MP John Cobbold.
Over the years, the facility expanded to cover much of the site, which spans over Henley Road and Warrington Road.
But ambulances began to struggle accessing the Ivry Street area outside the building.
Limited parking for staff, outpatients and visitors led to the eventual relocation of wards and services to Heath Road, where Ipswich Hospital now stands.
By 1988, everything had moved and new buildings were constructed around the original Victorian site.
The BUPA-owned Anglesea Heights care home, which shut its doors in 2017, opened to the public in 1991.
The prominent building is steeped in history, dating back to the Victorian era.