A few yards down from Henslow Terrace
(1 Henley Road) is a house with the 'St Georges Street' nameplate and a
central rectangular frame in the cement render which suggests that this
might have once been
a tavern. It is
customary in street nameplates for the possessive apostophe to be
perhaps it was difficult to include such punctuation in cast iron
signs; this sign boasts not one but two superior 'T's, one for
'Saint' and one for 'Street'. (Note the modern street nameplate further
up Henley Road for 'St Edmund's Road' – one
of the few such apostrophes.) The nameplate has seen
better days. The usual angled supports are missing and it looks as if
four holes have been drilled across the width of the plate and screws
driven into the wall.
At the other end of the street, a rather more municipal-looking street
sign. Still no possessive apostrophe, one notices.
Salem Chapel, 52 St Georges
This fine building with its arched windows stands half-way up the slope
of St George's Street, not far from the former Globe
Originally constructed as a chapel this 19th century,
redbrick building later became a storage area for the Ipswich Museum and
Art Gallery (which it backs on to) and is now the New Wolsey Studio, a
performing arts venue and offshoot of the town’s New Wolsey Theatre.
The original baptism pool survives below the present day flooring and
stage. The chapel was opened in 11 June 1812. It was
built at the sole expense of Mr Joseph Chamberlain for £1,200 and he
conveyed it to trustees, for the use of Particular Baptists. At 45 by
35 feet, the Salem Chapel was intended to accomodate four hundred
people. (To the left of the photograph below is the dated Ipswich Museum extension.)
Salem derivation: a
hellenized form of the word for 'peace' in Hebrew (שלום, shalom) which
is mentioned many times in the Bible and associated with Jerusalem. It
was chosen as the name of an early settlement in Massachusettes, USA
(1626) and became infamous for the Salem Witch Trials (1692).
46-48 St Georges Street
17 St Georges Street
A four-house terrace to the south
of the Salem Chapel.
A damaged, but still readable,
plaque between 17 St Georges Street and the side wall of no. 2 Bedford
Street. The name probably relates to Bolton Farm which was to the north
of Christchurch Park; part of the Bolton meadowland became the Upper
Arboretum: St Georges Street, then Henley Road lead up to this area.
See Our Christchurch page for the
story of the Park and an 1867 map showing Bolton Farm.
70A Christchurch Street
St Georges Street Garage lies north of Bolton Terrace with the
attractive three-storey terrace (with sub-basements) further north
which features stepped access to the front doors which increases with
the fall in the road from the carriage entrance at the far end; also a
first floor wrought iron balcony which extends half-way down the
building. The terrace lies opposite the Ipswich
6-8 Bedford Street
Round the corner is (the remainder of) one of the housing developments
by the Ipswich and Suffolk Freehold Land Society (F.L.S.).
Oddly off-centre the six-house terrace on the north side – not counting
the conjoined 'Bedford House' at the west end, which has its own name
plaque – carries a plaque on nos. 6 to 8:
Chapel of St George
One footnote about this street concerns martyrdom. Protestant
martyrdoms associated with Ipswich begin with Thomas Bilney. He
denounced saint and relic veneration, together with
pilgrimages to Walsingham and Canterbury, and refused to accept the
mediation of the saints. The diocesan authorities raised no objection
for, despite his reforming views in these directions, he was to the
last perfectly orthodox on the power of the Pope, the sacrifice of the
Mass, the doctrine of transubstantiation and the authority of the
church. Cardinal Wolsey
took a different view. In 1526 he appears to have summoned Bilney
before him. On his taking an oath that he did not hold and would not
disseminate the doctrines of Martin Luther, Bilney was dismissed.
in the following year serious objection was taken to a series of
sermons preached by him in and near London. Bilney
was plucked from the pulpit of the Church (or Chapel) of St George in
Georges Street, Ipswich as he preached in favour of the Reformation in
1527, arrested and
imprisoned in the Tower of London.
He had previously preached in the nearby St Margaret Church. This was
preaching-tour undertaken with the Norfolk mass-priest Master Lambert. Arraigned
before Wolsey, William Warham,
Archbishop of Canterbury, and several bishops in the chapter-house at
Westminster Abbey, he was convicted of heresy, sentence being deferred
while efforts were made to induce him to recant, which eventually he
After being forced to recant he was imprisoned in the Tower of London
for a year, and then returned to Trinity Hall, Cambridge for two years
in great torment of conscience. In 1531 he went to Norwich and declared
his convictions, and was there burnt at the stake.
Nine martyrs are commemorated on the
memorial in Christchurch Park. In
Ipswich burnings-at-the-stake took place on the Cornhill
and on Rushmere Common.
The Chapel of St George
stood opposite the site of Salem Chapel. This
site is now occupied by housing (the three storey terrace north of
today's motor garage show in the '70A Christchurch Street'
Map: 'A plan of the
Christchurch Estate belonging to Tho. Fonnereau Esq. surveyed 1735 by
John Kirby' is shown on our Bolton Lane
page under 'The story of Christchurch Park'. The street is labelled 'George Lane' –
today's St Georges Street with the legend 'The Ruins of St Georges Ch',
so the ruins were still in existence in 1735.
See our Brook Street page for a
map of the Dykes Street and chapel site area of St Georges Street.
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Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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