The Golf  Hotel and the 'Tolly Follies'

Standing on the outer reaches of Foxhall Road is one of a collection of 1920s/1930s 'Tolly Follies': large, mock-baronial, eyecatcher public houses designed by the architect John Shewell Corder to ape the style of Helmingham Hall*, home of the Tollemache family, located around ten miles to the north of Ipswich.
Tolly Follies:-
The Golf Hotel on Foxhall Road,
The Haven on Felixstowe Road – much later renamed The Crown and converted into flats,
The Golden Hind in Nacton Road,
The Cricketers – once the Town House – on Crown Street,
The Suffolk Punch on Norwich Road,
The Waveney Arms on Bramford Road closed in 1994 and stood empty for a number of years, before being shamefully demolished for housing.
The Safe Harbour, which stood on the corner of Highfield & Meredith Roads on the Whitton estate, closed for business in 1995 & was (ditto) demolished two years later.
The Golden Hind in Cambridge is the only Tolly Folly outside of Ipswich; it is the twin of The Golden Hind in Nacton Road
.

N.B. Some sources quote the following as Tolly Follies:

The Margaret Catchpole, Listed Grade II*, on Cliff Lane, a large public house built in 1936 designed by Harold Ridley Hooper of Ipswich, for the Cobbold Brewery; intended as a rival to the Tolly Folies. By the look of the frontage, the same could be said of:
The Royal George at the junction on Colchester Road (the last named two are substantial buildings but lack the mock-grandeur of the Tolly Follies).

(*Helmingham Hall is a moated manor house in Helmingham, north of Ipswich. It was begun by John Tollemache in 1480 and has been owned by the Tollemache family ever since. The house is built around a courtyard in typical late medieval/Tudor style. It is not open to the public, although the grounds are.)
Ipswich Historic Lettering: The Golf Hotel 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: The Golf Hotel 22017 images
The frontage on Foxhall Road bears, above the main entrance, a stepped panel bearing the decorative, incised words:
'THE
GOLF
HOTEL'
Ipswich Historic Lettering: The Golf Hotel 3a   Ipswich Historic Lettering: The Golf Hotel 4
Above: the panel is repeated quite high up on a chimney breast above the west side entrance – much sharper in the spring sunshine on this elevation.

Inside the building the vintage golf imagery which once decorated the walls has largely gone, to be replaced by 'olde worlde' framed prints including this hammed-up version of the Borough coat of arms. The odd, asymmetrical red adornments above the coat of arms enclose an exclamation mark, for some reason. It is as if the upper lion is astonished to find himself holding a galleon – as well might be. This is taken from the "Pa-Pa" Heraldic Series.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: The Golf Hotel 52017 image
Although postcards of the above series have appeared for sale dated 1960, this may well only refer to the reprinting date. The design and treatment appear to be more early 20th century in date.

Architect John Shewell Corder is commemorated on a plaque in Tooley's & Smart's Almshouses courtyard garden.

See also our Pubs & off-licences page.


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2004 Copyright throughout the Ipswich Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
No reproduction of text or images without express written permission