Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

New life for old landmark

PUBLISHED: 23:00 15 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:50 03 March 2010

VILLAGERS are hoping to renovate a monument which has stood in a wooded area for 170 years to mark a spot which was loved by a Suffolk vicar.

The Rev George Routh had a home in Foxhall, on the outskirts of Ipswich, where he used to escape for periods of solitude and prayer during his life as a clergyman.

VILLAGERS are hoping to renovate a monument which has stood in a wooded area for 170 years to mark a spot which was loved by a Suffolk vicar.

The Rev George Routh had a home in Foxhall, on the outskirts of Ipswich, where he used to escape for periods of solitude and prayer during his life as a clergyman.

Mr Routh was never vicar of Foxhall, but loved the area and would spend long periods on the secluded estate where he owned a home called Low House, originally two farm cottages, along with other land.

He died in January 1821 at the age of 81, and a decade later his wife Mary had the monument, an iron-faced brick and concrete obelisk, erected and trees planted around it. She died the following year, also aged 81.

Villagers have now decided the time has come to refurbish the monument, which stands just off Monument Farm Lane – and have been researching its history.

Parish councillors Bob Brander and John Booth have been finding out as much as they can about it and how it can be restored to its former glory and remove the decades of neglect.

The first task has been to clear the area around the obelisk so it can be assessed and this work has been done with the help of the workers of the Greenways Countryside Project.

This is a partnership between the county council and the boroughs and districts of Ipswich, Babergh and Suffolk Coastal, community and wildlife groups, volunteers and businesses, and aims to look after the countryside on the edge of Ipswich.

"We wanted to clear about 50 yards around the monument to let it dry out and so that we could see it properly and see what needs to be done," said Mr Brander.

"It had become overwhelmed by the trees and the undergrowth and there were a lot of sycamore saplings, which spring up everywhere, and some yew.

"The next stage will be to get an expert in to have a look at it and see what will need to be done to it to keep it in good repair and maintain it."

Mr Booth said efforts had been made to try to trace a living relative of Mr Routh to give proper permission for the work, but so far these had failed to find anyone.

He had carried out research, including getting help from the Norfolk and Suffolk Record offices, into Mr Routh's life.

Mr Routh was born in Norwich and attended schools in the city, Hertfordshire and Yorkshire, before attending Gonville and Caius College at Oxford University.

He was ordained as a deacon on September 19, 1762, and as a priest on September 24, 1769. He was rector of St Clement's and St Helen's of Ipswich from 1770-1821, vicar of Ashfield and Debenham from 1773-1790, and rector of Holbrook from 1790-1821.

An inscription on the monument says, "With a mind deeply impressed with religion and adorned with literature, he often sought retirement on this secluded estate".

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists