Bolton Lane and
The road leading northwards from St Margaret's Green along the
present-day Bolton Lane route was called Thingstead Way and was
recorded on Ogilby's map of 1674. By
of 1778 it was called Bolton Lane; some sources suggest that this may
have been a
misunderstanding as the meadowland of Bolton was situated on the other
of Christchurch Park (possibly near
the Upper Arboretum). However, White's map of 1867
clearly shows the names of the farms north of the parkland: to the west
(Henley Road side) 'Sand Hill Farm'; while above and to the east
(Westerfield Road side) is 'Bolton Farm'.
1735 map detail
The above detail from John Kirby's 1735 map of Christchurch Park
(fully shown on our Christchurch Park
page under 'The story of...') shows the V-shape of lanes converging on
the site of The Woolpack with the legend – a bit illegible here –
'Little Bolton' beside it – at the top of what we today call Bolton
Lane. 'Little Bolton Field' stretches right down to this point. Hence,
today's Bolton Lane is appropriately named. However, in
of these things, matters are somewhat confused by the legend 'Bolton
Lane' to the left alongside the lane going north through
a field named 'Great Bolton' (close to today's
Fonnereau Road, but inside the boundary of today's park). Rather a
surfeit of Boltons; no wonder later map-makers chose one of them in the
As Carol Twinch points out in Ipswich
street by street (see Reading List):
"To walk along Bolton Lane is to travel in the footsteps of the
Augustinian canons of the Holy Trinity, whose presence in the town
between the 13th and 16th century helped to shape both its character
and appearance." See our Monasteries
page for more on Holy Trinity Priory. Our page on Blue Plaques has an image of the board giving
information about the Thingstead (St Margarets Green).
Garratt Memorial Hall (St Margaret's
Church Hall) / Gainsborough
House (see below)
The signboard over the door reads: 'St Margaret's Church Centre,
Garratt Memorial Hall'. It stands
opposite the side entrance to St
The spelling of the name 'Garratt' suggests that this may not be
connected to the famous foundry and engineering company based in
Leiston. See our Mileposts page for
mention of Jacob Garrett's foundry which once stood nearby at the
junction of St Margaret's Green and Cobbold Street. [UPDATE 30.5.2013. Mary Johnston
writes: 'In fact the spelling of the name Garratt is correct on the
Church Centre signboard. The man referred to is Rev Samuel Garratt, a
past vicar of St Margaret's Church. There is a stone plaque inside the
church centre (near the toilets) that gives more information.']
frontage has a carved date on the bressumer beam below the central
The enhanced close-up (above) shows colour differentiation and
The English Heritage Listing text reads: "A C17 timber-framed
and plastered house with 3 gables jettied above the first storey. A
carved bressummer supported on brackets carved in the shape of human
heads bears the date 1682*. The front has been altered in
the C18 and later. 2 storeys and attics. 5 window range, double-hung
sashes with glazing bars, in flushed cased frames. The first storey
windows under the end gable at the south end extend for the full height
of the storey. The ground storey is built out in brick, now painted.
The front is protected by C19 cast iron railings. Roofs tiled, with 2
C19 red brick shafted chimney stacks with moulded brick caps and bases."
[*So even English Heritage can get things wrong: the
bressummer is certainly fifty years older than this.]
Close-ups of the carved woodwork suggest recent restoration and removal
of any paint to reveal the wood.
The brackets reveal moustachio'd gentlemen's heads, nearly obscured by
the carvings descending from above.
[UPDATE 18.1.2016: Another
feature of this building is lettered at the far right of the frontage:
'Gainsborough House'. Linda, in pursuit of her family history, sent
these morsels of information:
"The lady in case [I am researching] was Alice Sarah Oxborrow, my 3x
"By 1901 Alice had returned to Suffolk and was a boarder at
Gainsborough House, Bolton Lane in St Margaret, Ipswich. It was a YWCA
Boarding House, run by a Superintendant called Eugenie C. Sweeting.
of the boarders seemed to be Dressmakers, Milliners and similar. Alice
was 37, one of the oldest boarders in the house, still single, shown as
a Dressmaker, own account, working at home. Gainsborough House was
opposite St Margarets Church and
overlooking the graveyard.
The 1911 census showed Alice had moved to 23 Tower Street, Ipswich,
which had six rooms. She was 52, a Boarding House Keeper but with just
two boarders, 23 yr old Elsie Hilda Haiste, an Art Teacher for the
Borough Education Committee and Ada Constance Sargant, 22, an Art
Student. Alice died in Q4 1932, aged 74, her death registered in the
Ipswich, Suffolk." Many thanks to
Linda for drawing this to our
A little further up Bolton Lane is
another early, dated building: The Wrestlers.
Bolton Lane Social Club &
Institute Ltd (Bishop & Son
Glimpsed to the left of the hall in the top photograph is a real
Ipswich oddity. Lost between The Garratt Memorial Hall and Bolton Lane
School (now a gated, residential development, see 'Devereaux Court'
is a building behind
double gates in some need of attention.
asbestos roof is rapidly being colonised by ivy, corrugated tin sheets
hide peeling weather-board walls. Above the double doors at the front
is a single light bulb in a socket and two vertical strip lights,
presumably placed to illuminate the faded, rectangular sign behind
SOCIAL CLUB &
REG. NO. 103??'
This would all be of merely
passing interest were it not for the
stout double gates in front of and to the left of the building which
bear the sign:
'BISHOP & SON
38 BOLTON LANE'
The state of this sign and the letter-box below it suggest that
this is still be a viable business address. Sure enough the company's
website (www.bishopandsonpipeorgans.co.uk) tells us of the company
history under the founder, James Chapman Bishop, who started his
business in Marylebone, London. Sons and then a
continued with the work until Edward Hadlow Suggate graduated from
organ-builder in the firm to take over the running. "During Edward
Hadlow Suggate’s time as Principal of the firm, Bishop & Son saw
of the most dramatic changes in organ-building. Indeed he was to
its progress through the end of the nineteenth century and its journey
through the beginning of the twentieth, this is by many considered to
be one of the most important periods of the trade’s history. In his
time Mr Suggate was responsible for the purchasing of a new large works
as the firm expanded to Ipswich, and he completely re-tooled twice...
... Today the firm is administrated by our Principal, Dr Maurice
Merrell, who has over 60 years of experience with Bishop and Son, from
our head office at Queen’s Park in London, with works located both
there and at Ipswich. Our enthusiastic team of skilled craftsmen
trained in all aspects of the trade are employed in projects all over
the country and abroad. We work on organs both old and new, our work
ranges from general tuning and maintenance to restoration, re-builds,
new instruments and everything in between." The
website's contact details for the firm quote the 38 Bolton Lane works
as their Ipswich address.
Looking at a satellite image of the area reveals that the drive leads
from the gates to a long, narrow plot with about four
interlinked buildings, backing onto the car park (accessed from Cobbold
Mews, off Cobbold Street, see below) and playing field of St Margaret's
School. It is interesting that The Wrestlers
up the lane is numbered 40, so Bolton Lane Municipal Secondary School
for Girls (visible in the background, above left), later a music
education centre and temporary home to the County Library during its
rebuilding in the 1990s, never had an official number, perhaps. This
would account for the nearby St Margaret's Primary
School being listed as just 'Bolton
Lane'. The next address down the hill from the school is No. 4.
See Devereaux Court below for a photograph of the old school.
The Church of St Margaret is at the left with the primary school
across Bolton Lane from it. Soane Street is a botton left. The
Bishop Organ Works entrance is at the top of the image where a car
passes the gates and a white car is parked in the driveway.
The east end of St Clement
Congregational Church in Back
Hamlet is filled by a towering church organ, reputedly one of the best
Ipswich. In 1908 an appeal was made for funds to purchase a new organ.
The existing organ had been second-hand when it was donated in 1836 and
the Organ Builder (we understand that this was Bishop & Son) said
that “at any day it might collapse”. An appeal to the congregation said
that “the procuring of a New Organ is not in the nature of a Luxury,
but an absolute Necessity. The original organ was in the gallery but
the replacement was installed in the main church at a cost of £450, and
dedicated at a special service on 5th August. [Information
based on the entry in Simon's Suffolk Churches website, see Links.]
72 Bolton Lane
72 Bolton Lane stands opposite the entrance to Christchurch
Park. High above street level, it features in the middle of the large,
central gable a tiny
dated shield surrounded by decorative terra cotta:
Cobbold Street/Cobbold Mews
Cobbold Mews runs parallel to Bolton Lane:, running from Cobbold
Street right up to Withipoll Street (both being named after past owners
of Christchurch Mansion). This
steadily sloping lane is today surfaced
with paviours.; it is really the service track to the rears of
surrounding Victorian houses fronting Christchurch Street and contains
no dwellings itself.
Below: the view of Cobbold Mews from Withipoll Street:
Below: at the other end of Withipoll Street on the south corner
of the junction with Christchurch Street, an olderstyle of street
nameplate with condensed sans-serif capitals and an odd superior 'T'
with no gap between the character and the lower bar. This
distinguishes this street nameplate from others which are in
superficially the same style: St Clements Church Lane, Gt Whip St,
Felaw St, Croft St, Museum St, Lloyds Ave etc.
See our Street nameplates
page for links to all these and further examples.
See our Street name derivations
for the way in which this fits into the surrounding streets, reflecting
ownerships of Christchurch Mansion.
The building is the
former Bolton Lane Municipal Secondary School
for Girls (later Bolton Lane Music Education Centre) which has been
converted for accomodation and had new housing built in its
grounds to the rear.
Bolton Lane Municipal Secondary School for Girls
This information is drawn from David Kindred's Days gone by columns in the Ipswich Evening Star [see Links for 'Kindred Spirit']:-
The Ipswich Local Education Authority succeeded the Victorian school
board in 1903. In 1906 the Ipswich Municipal School opened at Tower
Ramparts by the Ipswich Education Committee. They were in control of
the Municipal School of Art in High Street, which had opened in the
1850s. The Municipal Technical School, the Municipal Secondary Schools
at Tower Ramparts for boys and Bolton Lane for girls and nineteen
council schools, eleven of which were mixed. There were also ten
voluntary schools and nine church schools. In the early 1930s Northgate
Schools opened. After the Second World War the school at Tower Ramparts
became a Secondary Modern.
From September 1961 Tower Ramparts Secondary Modern School for
Boys and Christchurch Secondary Modern School for Girls in Bolton Lane
were combined under the title of Tower Ramparts Secondary Mixed School,
the resulting combination, plus large influx of new pupils for that new
school year, necessitated using Argyle
Street school as an annex: the
Ipswich School of Commerce and Social Studies.
“Towards the end of the Summer 1962 term, headmaster Mr Webber departed
[Argyle Street] to prepare for his new role to oversee the opening of
the new Chantry Secondary School in September and he was succeeded by
Mr H.E. Cadwallader and with the opening of the Chantry School some
staff and pupils transferred there, the Argyle Street annex was no
longer needed, closing in July 1962. Of the three sites that in 1961/2
formed Tower Ramparts Secondary Mixed School only the Argyle Street
annex building survives in near original condition; Tower Ramparts
School being demolished to make way for the Tower Ramparts shopping
centre (now Sailmakers) and the Bolton Lane department has been
converted to living accommodation.” [Stuart
See our Dated buildings page
for a chronological list of dated buildings and structures on this
Please email any comments and contributions by clicking here.
throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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