View from the Ipswich School tower on Henley Road, looking down at the crinkle crankle hedge and Elmer Armstrong, part of Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk 2019
Ipswich School has a long history in Suffolk, as it is the oldest school in the county. The first formal record of the school is a bill – sadly unpaid – which dates from 1399, but it is likely that the school was in existence earlier than this, providing education through the Guild of Corpus Christi.
The school’s most famous pupil, and the one who planned to make it one of the finest in the country, was Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a man who is much commemorated in Ipswich.
Unfortunately, his fall from the favour of King Henry VIII saw his plan dissolved, but Wolsey’s protégé Thomas Cromwell persuaded Henry to re-found the school, and in 1566, Queen Elizabeth I renewed the school’s Royal Charter.
In 1852 Ipswich School moved from the centre of town to its current site on Henley Road, where it has remained ever since. The school now also includes a Prep School for 3-11 year olds on Ivry Street, and a Day Nursery – The Lodge – which provides childcare for children from 3 months to 3 years. Whilst the school started as a boys-only school, girls have been educated throughout the school since 1997.
We have pupils attend the school from all over Suffolk, and even Essex, via the school’s extensive bus network. The school celebrates its links with Suffolk in many ways, and the Music Faculty is now named after Benjamin Britten, probably the county’s most famous composer.
Ipswich School also boasts that most Suffolk of structures – the crinkle crankle wall – next to the cricket nets, and even has a crinkle crankle hedge at the front of the school on Henley Road.
Why we love Suffolk
I moved to Suffolk with my family 10 years ago, from London, when our girls were just 1 and 3 years old. It was such a positive move for us, out of the city and into an area where the countryside is literally beyond our back garden and the beach is a short car journey away. The sense of space and big skies are still things I really value. On my dog walks, I can go miles without seeing anyone else but then the sense of community is great also – I never go into town without bumping into someone I know. I love Suffolk, it is certainly now where we call home. Amanda Childs, Head of Ipswich Prep
I love Suffolk, I really do! I love the acres of woodland and countryside but then I also like bustling towns such as Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. I love the ability to constantly meet new people from all around the world. I love the variety of produce which Suffolk makes – although mostly the crisps and sugar rather than the vegetables! I love the history which Suffolk has, and how our lives could be so dramatically different. I love the choices Suffolk holds for us, whether it’s going to the sea or going car racing. So next time you are bored just remember what Suffolk has in store!
Ollie B, Year 9
Our student journalists asked people at Ipswich School – What’s your favourite thing about Suffolk?
Will P – The coast
Joe P – Fish and chips
Mr Bartrum – Helmingham Hall deer park
Mrs Brown – It’s where I was born and raised
Tom S – Ed Sheeran
Sorcha M – The landscape
Oscar L – Farms
Alex I – The meadows
Mrs Rivington – The big skies, sea breeze, my Suffolk friends and the ice cream shop in Aldeburgh.