Looking to live in…Ipswich!
As the county town of Suffolk, and one of England’s oldest towns which sits on the River Orwell, Ipswich is full of history and striking architecture. It also boasts excellent transport links, including to London Liverpool Street, highly rated schools and stunning parks.
Christchurch Park is home to the glorious Christchurch Mansion and is one of the most popular areas of Ipswich. While the mansion is perhaps the best-known example of the town’s historical architecture, the parkland is often recognised for hosting community events, such as Music in the Park (one of the many locations where Ed Sheeran began his notable career).
Fenn Wright Partner, Chris Jessup tells us more: “The roads surrounding Christchurch Park are ideal for anyone looking for anything from a flat in a period conversion to a spacious detached character property. Christchurch Park is one of the most affluent areas in the town and is favoured by both commuters and people working within the town centre itself.”
Fortunately, there are many areas of Ipswich where it is inexpensive to buy a home, especially in comparison to other popular towns along the A12 corridor, such as Chelmsford and Dedham Vale. It is also recognised as a great place for families, not simply because of its many parks and open spaces but also because of its excellent schools.
Chris Jessup continues: “Ipswich is a great place for schooling with many of our independent schools, such as Ipswich School and Ipswich High School, placed around the top of the East Anglian league tables. As of 2108, Ipswich High school, formally known as Ipswich High School for Girls, will accept boys. Our state schools have also been elevated over the last few years through investment coming into the area and the subsequent increase in property value. In fact, we are now approached by families looking to relocate to Ipswich expressly for the schooling.”
Perhaps one of the oldest schools in the town is Ipswich School. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who was also Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII, wanted to build a network of ‘feeder’ colleges around the country to prepare students for his new foundation of Cardinal College in Oxford (now Christ Church College). One of the schools was to be established in his home town of Ipswich and this was meant to rival older schools like Eton or Winchester School. Wolsey gained permission from the king to establish a school and construction began near St Peter’s church in 1528. After Cardinal Thomas Wolsey’s death, the grammar school he had built (that boasted head master, William Golding of Eton) moved to Foundation Street, and formed the basis of what would later become known as Ipswich School.
For those who need to commute, the mainline station has recently been revamped and provides direct access to Cambridge, Norwich and London in little over an hour.
The town also has a number of rural and coastal delights on its doorstep. Within half an hour’s drive, you can be met by the sea at Felixstowe and both Aldeburgh and Southwold are within easy reach. Or, if you prefer something closer to home, you can visit the regenerated waterfront area in Ipswich.
Chris Jessup tells us: “The waterfront development, Neptune Marina is ideal for young professionals or commuters looking for modern one and two-bedroom apartments, or luxury duplex penthouses. It has benefited from extensive redevelopment in recent years and it is now a thriving residential and commercial centre, providing a selection of popular bars and restaurants and presenting plenty of opportunities for property buyers.”
Beautifully blending the old with the new, Ipswich’s waterways are also home to the Wolsey Gate, or ‘Water Gate’ as Thomas Wolsey would have known it, which was built to serve as a gateway for visitors arriving by river. In Tudor times, the River Orwell was much wider than it is now, and the gateway and neighbouring churchyard would have stood near the water’s edge.
Just a short walk from our Ipswich branch is the Ancient House. This Grade I listed building dates back to the 15th century and features intricate wooden carvings that show a Tudor impression of the world. Interestingly, there are only four panels depicting Africa, America, Asia and Europe – as Australia had not been discovered at the time!
Chris Jessup concludes: “Whether you’re an investor or homebuyer, Ipswich has a variety of properties to offer. Investment continues to pour into the town, which means an increase in population but also in the local economy and ultimately in the value of homes in this lovely town.”