The Old Hospitals

Anglesea Road / Ivry Street
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Pathology 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Pathology 12012 images (unless shown)
The art deco-style doorway above seems to echo the doorways of Clifford Road School that bear lettering of a similar vintage above them.
This belonged to the old Anglesea Road Hospital which stood above the top of Berners Street. This doorway is just off Ivry Street and is the side door (possibly now in use again, given the wire milk bottle-carrier) of the present Institute of Family Psychiatry building. In July 2012 it certainly seems to have benefitted from a clean up and coat of varnish from its sorry state about seven years ago.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Pathology 3  
This classical style moulding built into the brick wall is the first thing one notices in the car park next to the Pathology doorway. Although devoid of lettering it bears a fantasy castle in relief in the upper oval. Presumably the cuts in the stone arch enabled its extraction from the original hospital fabric.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Pathology 4a
Not far from this door stands another, very different, but related doorway. Different in that it is less deco than baroque with its pillars and mouldings, but also in that it leads nowhere,  serving now only as a frame for the plaque commemorating Ipswich and East Suffolk (Anglesea Road) Hospital and its conversion into 'Anglesea Heights':


This nursing home has been built on the
site of the former Ipswich & East Suffolk
Hospital. The first building on this site was
erected by Benjamin Backhouse from a
design of William Parkes Ribbans in 1836. This
is the original Victorian building that remains
on the site today.

Many further alerations and additions wer
made in the 150 years leading to the present
redevelopment. Many of the hospital buildings
were erected by public subscription and the
plaques on the site commemorate this

This doorcase was built as part of the
Victoria Wing designed by E.E. Bisshopp in

The site was redeveloped including the
complete refurbishment of the original
building by Takare plc and was completed
in August 1991.

The main contractor for the development
Valden Limited of Birmingham.

The Project Architects for the development
Architectural Project Design
of Telford'

As you can see from the detail below, the cameo portrait of Victoria has all but eroded away. For another depiction of Victoria above a doorway see the Victoria Free Library entrance on our page about Ipswich Museum.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Victoria Wing 20142014 image
now stands in the car park where one or two other sculptural details including the fine commemoration plaque for the Ipswich War Memorial Wing which stood on the site. See the historical note below.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Pathology 6
The text on the tablet reads:
1914          1918

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Pathology 7
Another tablet can be found nearby which proclaims:


Sir Bunnell H. Burton donated the drinking fountain close to the play area in Christchurch Park in 1896. Burton was a wholesale provision merchant based in College Street and became prominent in the Burtons dockside family firm. He was also organist of St. Mary-le-Tower Church, Mayor of Ipswich in 1905, and for 38 years Chairman of the Governors at Ipswich School. He was knighted in 1934 for political and public services in Ipswich and died in 1943.
William A. Churchman was born in Ipswich. He went into partnership with his brother, Arthur (later a benefactor of Chantry Park and Holywells Park to the town), in the family tobacco firm which had been founded by their great-grandfather in 1790. This was renamed W. A. & A. C. Churchman. It was later absorbed by the tobacco combines and Churchman became a director of the Imperial Tobacco Company. Churchman was a staunch Conservative and was elected Mayor of Ipswich in 1901. In 1911 he became a justice of the peace for Suffolk.
Churchman was commissioned Lieutenant in the 1st Suffolk Rifle Volunteers (later 1st Volunteer Battalion, Suffolk Regiment) in 1885, and promoted Captain in 1890 and Major in 1899. In 1905 he was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, in 1906 he was promoted substantive Lieutenant-Colonel, and later that year he was granted the honorary rank of Colonel. In 1908 he took command of the 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment in the new Territorial Force. He retired in 1912, but returned to command the battalion's recruiting section at the outbreak of the First World War. He was later appointed director of the Nitrate Section of the Ministry of Munitions. For these services he was knighted in the 1920 New Year Honours. He was created a Baronet in 1938.

[UPDATE 22.5.2012:
"I was looking for information on a great lady I once worked with, Sister Kitchener, and came upon your site. I worked as an orthoptist with Mr Harry Hardy FRCS and Mike Parkinson FRCS at Anglesey Road prior to the move to Heath Road Hospital in 1975/6. I was told that Sister Kitchener was daughter of Lord Kitchener? She was probably Matron at Anglesey road just before her retirement. I do not recall that she moved down to Heath Road.
We were 'the eye clinic' at Anglesey Road and later Heath Road. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the hospital but remember the entrance hallway, upon entering through the high wooden doors. There were portacabins in the front then as space was at a premium. I had a lovely two years working in Ipswich. I lived in Tattingstone while there after a short time lodging with a lady in Woodbridge Road whose brother, Graham, had flown with Amy Johnson, or so she claimed!! They were lovely days and my life began there, as I was a Welsh girl who had broken out of the valleys mentality! My ex- husband was a student at Essex University, studying politics with Tony King. The whole world was ours! Ipswich football club were flying with Bobbie Robson as manager, and Optician/Mayor (I believe) in Elm Street – can't recall his name, was our optical assistant.
I now work in Ireland but will be retiring next year and may well settle in Suffolk again. I am in touch with people who now live in the beloved cottage I rented in Tattingtone, and will visit them in the New Year ,hopefully.
I would have loved to send you pictures of the old hospital but, alas, film was expensive. No digital then unfortunately!
Nice to remember good times again, Regards,
Diana Owen, DBO." Many thanks to Diana for getting touch via our email link.]

The above email prompted us to do a little more research (see Twinch, Carol on our Reading List) on the old Anglesea Road Hospital.
The East Suffolk & Ipswich Hospital & Dispensary was built on Anglesea Road (see Street name derivations) in 1835 and the familiar portico still catches the eye at the top of Berners Street, although the upper storey was a later addition to the frontage. The original building cost around 2,500 and stood in a high position overlooking the town on about two acres of land purchased by the Trustees of the Revd. W.C. Fonnereau surrounded by lawns, gardens and shrubberies. In 1918, as a practical part of the Ipswich War Memorial to the Great War, a new wing was added to the hospital on adjoining land on what had been the Victorian Militia Depot. Plans were raised for the new extension and, by 1924, the amount subscribed was 50,846 (of which 5,000 was allocated to the War Memorial in nearby Christchurch Park. The Hospital closed and patient care moved to the newly-built hospital on the site of the Heath Road Union Workhouse, to the east of Ipswich, in the early 1980s.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Anglesea Road HospitalFrom an old postcard
Until we saw this image (date unknown), we had not realised that the hospital entrance, still so well known at the top of Berners Street once bore the lettering on its lintel:

Below: two more photographs of the Hospital frontage (courtesy The Ipswich Society Image Archive) show the early, two-storey building in the 1840s with its prominent portico with Ionic columns and in the 1950s – after the addition of a third storey in 1869 – rather damaging the proportions of the building. Note the fancier serif'd, drop-shadow capital lettering, compared to the above photograph:
with 'Anglesea Wing' set at an angle or on a slight 's'-curve (see detail).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Anglesea Road Hospital 1840s   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Anglesea Road Hospital 1950s
See also Heather Johnson's Great War Home Hospitals site (see Links) for more information about this hospital and wartime images of the interior.
Great War British Home Hospitals 1914-1918: Home Hospitals, within 20 mile radius of Colchester is a web-based project by Heather A. Johnson. Temporary Home Auxiliary Hospitals were set up when the First World War began, in readiness for wounded men arriving from ‘the Front’. The requisitioned buildings were offered free of charge and included such places as schools, town halls, village halls, hotels, convalescence homes, all manner of private residences and wards set aside in civilian hospitals.
Ipswich hospitals covered include: ‘Broad Oke’, No. 7 Burlington Road; Broadwater Auxiliary Hospital, Belstead Road; Gippeswyk Red Cross (Isolation) Hospital; Heathfield Auxiliary Hospital, Heath Road; East Suffolk & Ipswich General Hospital; Ipswich Military Hospital, Ranelagh Road; Maryland V.A.D. Convalescent Hospital; Orwell Park Auxiliary Hospital, Nacton; Wherstead Park Hospital, Wherstead; Woolverstone Red Cross Hospital.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Anglesea Road Hospital 19341934 image
The above aerial view of Anglesea Road Hospital comes from Ipswich: souvenir of the Royal Show July 3rd-7th 1934 and it shows the state of Ipswich's hospital at that date with a plethora of extensions and additions to the original buildings (most of this was swept away when the old hospital site was rebuilt as Anglesea Heights nursing home in 1991). Running diagonally and dividing all the buildings from the Upper Arboretum in Christchurch Park is Henley Road. The approach to the pillared portico is Berners Street at lower right; the italiante former nurses home, which still stands, is on the eastern corner with Anglesea Road. Running from left to right above and below the hospital site are
Ivry Street and Angelsea Road respectively. Holly Road runs off Ivry Street at an angle running along the edge of the  public school playing fields. The school buildings are on the corner of Ivry Street running up Henley Road, facing the park. St Edmunds Road can be seen at the upper left. The Greyhound public house is just in shot at the extreme right.

Anglesea Road Hospital lodge house
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bartlet Anglesea Rd 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Bartlet Anglesea Rd 22013 images

There is an attractive inscription over the door on the bungalow to the left of the entrance to Anglesea Heights, formerly Anglesea Road Hospital where Dr J.H. Bartlet used to work (see St Peter's Hall following). Note the stylish double bar on the 'H' and the decorative spandrels below. Thanks to Mike O'Donovan for the St Peter's Hall example and the next. Incidentally, it is not clear what the present-day relationship is between the Hall and the nearby St Peter's Church which was built in 1460 (almost certainly on the site of an earlier church). The church has been subject to a lottery-funded refurbishment and made into a very welcome music venue; its former church hall is now residential.

St Peter's Hall. St Peter's Street
Ipswich Lettering: St Peters Hall   Ipswich Lettering: St Peters Hall 1aenhanced image 
(Photograph courtesy Mike O'Donovan)
A.D.  ....  1911'
Ipswich Lettering: St Peters Hall 92014 image
In St Peters Street is a memorial to the wife of Dr John Henry Bartlet who left left 250,000 in stocks and shares in his will when he died aged 87, in 1917, to be used for the provision of the the Bartlet Hospital above the seafront in Felixstowe. John Henry was a surgeon based at the East Suffolk & Ipswich Hospital.  He was also the son of an Ipswich surgeon and therefore had a good understanding of healthcare and the need for convalescent care. Before he died, he made a will that made provision of a convalescent home as he identified the gap in the general care of patients.  The Trust money transferred in 1947 has apparently vanished without a trace: financial records from the NHS were apparently not kept until 1996.  The bank that the money was in has no record of where it has gone.  The Bartlet was closed in January 2008. [Information from Bartlet Bequest Action Group]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: St Peter's Hall 19851985 photograph courtesy The Ipswich Society
In 1985 the hall was used by the Royal Naval Reserve as a Communication Training Centre.
There is a decorative rainwater hopper at the upper right of the building, in line with the chimney stack:
Ipswich Lettering: St Peters Hall 5   Ipswich Lettering: St Peters Hall 62014 images
There is an identical rainwater hopper at the upper left corner:
Ipswich Lettering: St Peters Hall 8
See our dated rain-hoppers page for further examples.

Ipswich Historic Lettering
(Photograph courtesy Mike O'Donovan)

Mike O'Donovan writes: "I took [the above image] a good few years ago at the entrance to what was then Hightrees Adolescent Unit off Foxhall Road on the outskirts of the town. It reads:
"Erected by voluntary subscription as a memorial to King Edward VII. The site being presented by Mr. E. G. Pretyman, M.P."
I'm not sure if it still exists. The area is now the Nuffield [on the other side of the road to the Foxhall speedway stadium]."
The blocked out lettering at the top of the tablet was conjectured to read 'FOXHALL HOSPITAL' (although the spacing isn't convincing). We asked if this tablet still exists... See UPDATES below for answers to both questions.

The original Foxhall Hospital (the King Edward Memorial Sanatorium) was built in 1912 as an isolation hospital for people with lung disorders, particularly TB sufferers. After it closed down in 1975 it was used as a centre for displaced Vietnamese “boat people” in the early 1980’s. Suffolk Coastal District Council planners agreed to the site being used again as a hospital-type facility after rejecting housing proposals a number of times. Demolition of the original hospital buildings started early in 1990 when developers began a project to turn the building and its 19 acre site into a 58 bedroom private hospital.

Download the Ipswich Sanatorium 1912 EADT Souvenir book PDF file (48 pages) – opens in a new window.

Foxhall is one of those names more associated with a road - which begins at the top of Grove Lane in Ipswich and runs all the way to Bucklesham - than a specific place, even though it was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. The Parish boundaries are very roughly:
This last may come as a surprise to those who wouldn't think of the Shepherd & Dog as being in Foxhall. The Speedway stadium over the road from Foxhall Hospital, even though it bears the name 'Foxhall' is actually in Kesgrave parish due to boundary changes in 1984.
[UPDATE 6.10.2010: The original Foxhall Hospital (the King Edward Memorial Sanatorium) Tablet - from Ross Greuber, to whom our thanks. "I was interested in your article about the location of the tablet. Unfortunately, the original hospital buildings have been demolished, but the tablet with the inscriptions still survive, and were transplanted to a little outhouse near the new hospital. It is visible from the entrance to the main carpark, and can be accessed up the steps leading to the main building. There is a feature inside the Nuffield hospital of the original buildings in a picture frame in the main waiting area. Hope this information helps. Ross"]
[UPDATE 18.11.2011: "I just came across your website about historic lettering in Ipswich.  The blanked out part of the tablet that used to stand at the gate of Foxhall Hospital read "Ipswich Sanatorium".  The Sanatorium only became "Foxhall Hospital" after the second world war.  The name was blanked out during the war just in case of invasion by the Germans - to stop them from knowing where they were.  For the same reason many road signs were removed.  However, there was another identical tablet inside the grounds of the Sanatorium, which they neglected to blank out!  And that's how we know what it said.  I know this because I grew up in the grounds: my Dad was superintendent of the hospital between 1951 and 1965.
Regards, Richard McNab"]
[UPDATE 16.10.2015: ‘Hi, some years back I used to live in Hightrees itself; it was then a children's home. Before that we were told that it was the doctor’s house. Across the way from Hightrees was what we called the old hospital which at the time was empty and, from time to time, we used to get some boat people coming up the drive to visit the hospital. We had to tell them it was no more in operation. I was sad to see the hospital get knocked down. I have since found out that Hightrees had been sold on and is still there. Robert Purnell’]
Many thanks to these contributors, particularly for the definitive eye-witness testimony.

For an intriguing historical footnote about Ipswich being put beyond the pale by Queen Victoria and its bearing on the official opening of Ipswich Sanatorium see the text from the 'Kindred Spirits' website on our page dealing with the Suffolk Victoria Nursing Institute in Lower Brook Street.

Perhaps we ought also to commemorate here the long vanished sign further up the road which bore the legend 'FOXHALL ISOLATION HOSPITAL'. It stood at the entry to a track leading off Foxhall Road across a farmer's field about half way between the USAF aerial mast next to the Bell Lane junction and the present Foxhall Recycling site. A large building lurked in the trees, largely invisible when they were clothed in leaves. It was also known to locals as the Smallpox Hospital. There was the air of an institution deliberately remote from everyday life. We believe that this is now a private residence.

St Clements Hospital
which we assume to stand for 'St Clements Boundary'.  Another such boundary marker (below right) of carved stone stands by the east end of the main wall of St Clements Hospital on Foxhall Road. This seems to bear a similar, somewhat crudely cut, inscription with a '26' at the bottom. For a gallery of such specimens see our Boundary markers page.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: St Clements stone2012 image

Mike O'Donovan sends some images about St Clements Hospital.
St Clements Hospital A
Photographs below courtesy Mike O'Donovan
Mike writes: "I used to work at St. Clements Hospital and was very lucky to get hold of some old photos, some of which were taken in the 1880s. The attached one is a view of the back of the hospital, which was then know as "The Ipswich Borough Asylum". The original is a bit faded so I touched it up just a fraction. The colour one is a view of the hospital as it now looks."
St Clements Hospital B
"The photo of the hospital grounds was taken in what is now the football/cricket area. The golf course is more to the front of the picture.
Regarding Dr. Chevallier, he was in charge of The Grove [an asylum just off Grove Lane, finally demolished in the late 1980s] before becoming the second Medical Superintendent of the Borough Asylum (St. Clements). Here are some details of his life which you may find interesting.
He was born on January 17th 1819 and died on August 21st 1889. He was  educated at Charterhouse and was a Scholar of Brasenose College, Oxford. He matriculated March 10th 1837. B.A. 1840. M.A. 1843. B. Med. 1846. D. Med. 1852. M.R.C.P. (London) 1859. J.P. for the County of Suffolk. Mayor of Ipswich 1874. Medical Superintendent of St. Clements October 1st 1877 to August 21st 1889.
His father Revd. John Chevallier married three times. His second wife was Dr. Chevallier's mother and his third wife was the mother of Frances Anne Chevallier who married Lieutenant Colonel Henry Horatio Kitchener. Their son was the famous "Your Country Needs You" Lord Horatio Kitchener (1850 - 1916).
Not a lot of people are aware of the above info." Our Street Name page notes that Chevallier Street, which runs between Norwich Road and Bramford Road, linking Yarmouth Road and Valley Road ('the old by-pass'), commemorates Dr Barrington Chevallier. For many years the Chevallier Club - a few doors down from the Inkerman pub - which (regrettably) became commonly known as "The Chev" - was a well-known night spot; it's now a restaurant.
St Clements Hospital E
"Attached are two more photos from my collection. The first one has the title "cricket field" on the back and the second one has the title "Male Court M 1 July 28 1880". The originals are more of a sepia colour and have some damage which I managed to repair in the copies. The pictures are more than likely unique." Thanks to Mike O'Donovan for his contribution.
St Clements Hospital D

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