38 Facts About Ipswich


Ipswich is a port town and borough in Suffolk, England, of which it is the county town.

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Ipswich is surrounded by two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty : Suffolk Coast and Heaths and Dedham Vale.

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Ipswich was a settlement of great economic importance to England throughout its history, particularly in trade.

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The town's historical dock, present-day Ipswich Waterfront, was known as the largest and most important dock in the kingdom.

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In 2020, Ipswich was ranked as an emerging global tourist destination by TripAdvisor.

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Ipswich was voted as the 7th most desirable place to live and work in England by the Royal Mail in 2017.

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In 2007, Ipswich was awarded the cleanest town award and, in 2015, Ipswich was rated as the third happiest place to live in the UK.

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Ipswich is one of England's oldest towns, and is claimed to be the oldest still continuing town to have been established and developed by the English, with continuous settlement since early Anglo-Saxon times.

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Under the Roman empire, the area around Ipswich formed an important route inland to rural towns and settlements via the rivers Orwell and Gipping.

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Towards 700 AD, Frisian potters from the Netherlands area settled in Ipswich and set up the first large-scale potteries in England since Roman times.

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Ipswich was becoming a place of national and international importance.

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The last Carmelite Prior of Ipswich was the celebrated John Bale, author of the oldest English historical verse-drama .

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Ipswich was a printing, bookseller centre, and a entrepot for continental books in the 16th century.

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From 1611 to 1634 Ipswich was a major centre for emigration to New England.

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Ipswich was one of the main ports of embarkation for puritans leaving other East Anglian towns and villages for the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the 1630s and what has become known as the Great Migration.

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In 1835, Charles Dickens stayed in Ipswich and used it as a setting for scenes in his novel The Pickwick Papers.

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Ipswich was subject to bombing by German Zeppelins during World War I but the greatest damage by far occurred during the German bombing raids of World War II.

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Ipswich formerly had a municipal airport to the south-east of the town, which was opened in 1929 by the Ipswich Corporation.

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Ipswich has experienced a building boom in the early part of the 21st century.

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The town does not have a cathedral, so the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich is based at Bury St Edmunds, the former county town of West Suffolk.

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Holywells Ward, Ipswich is the area around Holywells Park, a 67-acre public park situated near the docks, and the subject of a painting by Thomas Gainsborough.

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Ipswich is home to many artists and has a number of galleries, the most prominent of which are at Christchurch Mansion, the Town Hall, in Ancient House and the Artists' Gallery in Electric House.

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In 2018, Clarion Call is the signature installation in the Festival Installed at the historic town centre and waterfront in Ipswich, Clarion Call is a sonic intervention calls out to the setting sun in daily incantations, its voices reflecting contemporary Britain while exploring the local history of the World War I, using audio technology originally employed in war and emergencies, and the voices and songs of women and girls, to create a soundscape of immense scale.

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Eastern Angles Theatre Company is based at the Sir John Mills Theatre in Ipswich, named after the famous actor who lived in Felixstowe as a child.

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Ipswich Jazz Festival is a jazz music and arts festival started in 2015 in partnership with the Ipswich Arts Festival and mixes established jazz talent, rising stars and regional players.

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Ipswich had a notable punk scene and influential grindcore band Extreme Noise Terror, formed in the town in 1985.

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Ipswich is one of the Haven ports and is still a working port, handling several million tonnes of cargo each year.

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Trains in Ipswich are run by Greater Anglia, who operate direct services to cities in the region including London, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Norwich and Peterborough.

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Ipswich is still a signing-on point for locomotive crews and a stabling point.

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Ipswich Airport was closed in 1996, but the town is an hour away from Stansted Airport.

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Ipswich Cardinals are an American football team, playing in the South-East Conference of BAFACL 1; the second tier of the BAFA Community Leagues.

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Speedway team, the Ipswich Witches, have ridden at Foxhall Stadium on the outskirts of Ipswich since 1951 and have won the top-tier league title four times, the knock-out cup five times and the second-tier knock-out cup twice.

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Ipswich Swimming, formed in 1884 as Ipswich Swimming Club, is based at the town's Crown Pools, and uses the Fore Street swimming pool.

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Ipswich had a racecourse which ran a mix of flat and National Hunt races.

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Ipswich is the location of the University of Suffolk, Suffolk's first Higher Education Institution, established in 2007.

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Ipswich was the birthplace in 1741 of Sarah Trimmer, nee Kirby, writer and critic of children's literature and among the first to introduce pictorial material and animals and the natural world into it.

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Also born in Ipswich is Sam Claflin, who appeared in The Hunger Games and Peaky Blinders.

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Actor and director Richard Ayoade, best known for his role as Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd, was brought up in Ipswich, as was the ceramic artist Blanche Georgiana Vulliamy, and the musician Nandi Bushell.

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