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Old building returns to life

PUBLISHED: 18:00 17 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:45 09 March 2010

The Old Sun Inn in St Stephen's Lane. Picture Paul Geater

The Old Sun Inn in St Stephen's Lane. Picture Paul Geater

FOR the first time in a decade, an ancient building has reopened for business.

The property in St Stephen's Street has been a pub and a jewellery shop in the past but now, following a massive restoration, it has opened as a furniture and gift shop, Angle Limited.

FOR the first time in a decade, an ancient building has reopened for business.

The property in St Stephen's Street has been a pub and a jewellery shop in the past but now, following a massive restoration, it has opened as a furniture and gift shop, Angle Limited.

It is believed the property dates back to late Tudor times (about the end of the 16th century) and is actually built on an old graveyard. It was originally a merchant's house, then became a tavern called the Sun Inn up until the end of the 19th century, when it was taken over and transformed into a jewellery shop which opened in the 1920s.

The property's owner, Doug Atfield, was in the process of closing down the shop as he and his wife Pat planned to retire and travel the country together. However she tragically died just three months before their golden wedding anniversary in 1998 and shortly after he closed the building for good.

Since then an extensive refurbishment has been undertaken and the property has now been leased to Angle Limited.

A careful restoration has meant that many of the original features have been preserved. As well as the original wooden floor and exposed beams, there is also a well and possibly a priest's hole, where members of the clergy may have hidden during the Reformation.

The shop, which is the only one of its kind and sells furniture, handbags, lamps, scarves and pens, has opened amid economic uncertainty but Gordon Jones, its director, is confident about attracting a decent trade with local support.

He said: “We would encourage people to support their local shop.

“It is certainly a unique building and we would love everyone to come and take a look.”

Do you think there are other forgotten buildings around the town? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.


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