The Sorrell Horse at 121 Fore Street is a 17th century building, though it was much altered in the 18th century. Licensees are listed from 1812; the pub closed after 1977. Although it bears a Fore Street address, it was (and is) hidden away behind other buildings, so is difficult to identify by the casual passer-by. In 1961 the premises on the corner with Grimwade Street was Barnard Brothers animal feed shop. The pub sign hung over a cart entrance to the east which led to the public house behind the street buildings.
The 1920s description by Ted King (see our Audio/Film page): "... Next to that was a gate and that led to a public house called The Sorrell Horse. That also was cobbled; well, in there used to go the country carrier. Well, the country carrier in those days not only delivered the goods to the people in the country (in this case, Levington and Nacton area) - Fred Baldwin used to do that. There used to be sufficient seating in his horse-drawn cart with a canvass hood on, to take about four to six villagers who had been shopping in the town. If people from Levington and Nacton wanted some goods from Ipswich, they used to tell him what they wanted, wrote on a piece of paper, and he used to do their shopping for 'em - and paid for 'em - and he asked the shopkeeper to send their errand-boy down to the Sorrell Horse and they were left in a stable. He'd gather all this stuff up, load them onto his cart and deliver them to the people that wanted them."
Comparison photographs of the Sorrell Horse before restoration and the buiding of 'Sorell Horse Mews' and the views of the inn today with a relief horse's head at each end. There's a fleur-de-lis in relief near the apex of the gable.
Above: the 21st century view of the reshaped buildings fronting Fore Street; the cart entrance indicates the original entrance to the Sorrell Horse. Below: a similar view before rebuilding with a close-up of the pub entrance, the inn sign now gone from its post, the raised panel on the wall to the right probably once read ‘Tolly Cobbold'.