|Area: 39.42 kmē|
Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk and a non-metropolitan district in East Anglia, England on the estuary of the River Orwell. It has a population of approximately 140,000 inhabitants (est. 2006) and is the third-largest town in the UK's East Anglia region, and the 38th largest urban area in England.
Ancient Ipswich was successively a Stone Age, Iron Age, Roman, and Anglo-Saxon settlement known as "Gippeswick".
The area around Ipswich, or Gippeswick, was sparsely settled until the withdrawal of the Romans. Afterward, its position as a convenient harbour on the North Sea made it convenient to Saxon settlers, and it is claimed to be the first Anglo-Saxon town. The kingdom of East Anglia was for a time centered around Ipswich.
The Ipswich Museum houses replicas of the Mildenhall Treasure and the Sutton Hoo treasure, as well as Saxon weapons and jewellery.
King John granted it its first charter in 1200, and in the next four centuries it made most of its wealth trading Suffolk cloth with the Continent.
During the Middle Ages the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Grace was a popular pilgrimage destination, and attracted a number of royal pilgrims. The statue was taken away to be burned, although it is now believed to have survived and still to exist in Nettuno, Italy.
Around 1380, Geoffrey Chaucer satirised the merchants of Ipswich in the Canterbury Tales.
Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, the son of a wealthy landowner, was born in Ipswich about 1475. One of Henry VIII's closest political allies, he founded a college in the town in 1528, which is now known as Ipswich School. He remains one of the town's most famed figures.
Timber framed buildings in St Nicholas Street.In 1555, the Ipswich Martyrs were burnt at the stake for their Protestant beliefs. A monument commemorating this event now stands near the scene of their Martyrdom in Christchurch Park.
From 1611 to 1634 Ipswich was a major centre for emigration to New England. This was organised by the Town Lecturer, Samual Ward. His brother Nathaniel Ward was first minister of Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Ipswich had a racecourse which ran a mix of flat and National Hunt races from 1710 to 1911.
The painters John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough lived and worked in Ipswich. In 1835, Charles Dickens stayed in Ipswich and used it as a setting for scenes in his novel The Pickwick Papers. The hotel where he resided first opened in 1518; it was then known as The Tavern and is now known as the Great White Horse Hotel. Dickens made the hotel famous in chapter XXI of The Pickwick Papers, vividly describing the hotel's meandering corridors and stairs.
The Ancient House is decorated with a particularly fine example of pargetingIn 1797 Lord and Lady Nelson moved to Ipswich, and in 1800 Lord Nelson was appointed High Steward of Ipswich.