Ipswich Town

Ipswich Docks in Suffolk today

Ipswich Town

 

Ipswich Town is the county Town of Suffolk, and strides the river Orwell at the base of its estuary. It is a medieval town that has been in continual occupation since the Roman Times. The name “Ipswich” is derived from its original name of Gippeswic

During the Roman occupation of Britain Ipswich was considered an important settlement, and a Roman fort was built further down the estuary towards Felixstowe to protect it. The Rivers Orwell and Gipping, run inland from Ipswich and were major trade routes inland for the Romans, and the town developed its port to transport many of these goods to the Roman Empire.

With the collapse of the Roman Empire, Ipswich became the key port for the Kingdom of East Anglia, which comprised of Norfolk, Suffolk and much of Cambridge. This port was key for trading with the Northern Ports on the continent, and for access up the River Rhine. It was during this period that the first earth work ramparts were erected. In 869 the town was captured by the Vikings, and they raised the ramparts to prevent the English from recapturing Ipswich, by 900 it was back in English hands. Ipswich continued to develop as an important port, transporting local produce to London by sea and a small fifinf fleet started to emerge.

It was during the Victorian period that Ipswich grew into the town that we know today. Coprolite was discovered, which was the raw material that Fisons turned into fertiliser. By this time the local brewery Tolly Cobold, was also building the first modern Victorian brewery. The trains arrived in Ipswich, and the importance of rivers for transport of goods diminished, but the port developed a major fishing fleet as fresh fish could now be rapidly transported to London

With the demise of the fishing fleet due to EU quotas, the port of Ipswich died, and in the late 20th Century early 21st  it was developed in to a leisure area, and residential. Ipswich today has a major role in the development of high tech communications with BT having a major research centre at Martlesham Heath.

The Town has a premier league football team, “Ipswich Town”, commonly known as the tractor boys    

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