An early Victorian mahogany and circular dialled wall clock made at 19 St Peter’s Street, Ipswich about 150 years ago has returned to 19 St Peter’s Street.  The clock face bears the name ‘Birkle Bros, 19 St Peter’s Street, Ipswich’. David Birkle, whose family came from the Black Forest valley settlement of Schönenbach, was a tenant at number 19 between c.1851 – c.1881 and ran the Ipswich branch of the Birkle Bros. & Co. clockmaker and watchmaker business from here. 

Three history students, researching owners and tenants of 19 St Peter’s Street since it was built c1700, discovered that the clock was coming up for sale at Adam Partridge’s auction room in Cheshire. 

My interest in the property started in November 2012 when our family bought it for my daughters, Hannah and Beth, to start a coffee shop.  It opened in July 2013 under the name Baker & Barista, however after a trademark challenge it was renamed Applaud Coffee in 2015.  Soon after completion the previous owner handed over a large bundle of documents relating to the ownership which started a journey of discovery.

In 2019, after carrying out my own research on the web, I realised that I needed expert help. John Norman, Chairman of the Ipswich Society, suggested I contact Harvey Osborne, the Head of History at the University of Suffolk. I did so, providing a list of previous interesting people who had either owned or lived at the property, and I quickly received a favourable response. Within a couple of weeks a team of three students had confirmed that they were interested in taking on a project and in December I met the students - Maria Senior, Hannah Castle and Kerri Stevenson.

A presentation of their work will be on display at Applaud Coffee, 19 St Peter’s Street, from Saturday 24 July to Friday 3 September 2021. A leaflet about some of their research will also be available.

One interesting owner was brewer Robert Bowman. He was connected to the Falcon Inn in Queen Street (known until recently as Bowmans). His three daughters – Susannah, Harriet and Amelia, were made ‘tenants in common’ by their father in 1846.  Susannah lived at the property for the longest period of time with her husband, George Green Sampson, and later they bought out her sisters in 1846.  The husband of Harriet (m.1835), Robert Burrows, was an artist, pawnbroker, woollen draper and in 1856 he took up photography.  Robert’s work is significant – it is some of the earliest surviving examples of photography taken outside London in the nineteenth century. 

George Green Sampson was a surgeon.  A letter published in The Ipswich Journal in 1880 attacked him for vaccinating children against smallpox.  He served as Mayor of Ipswich on four occasions (1838, 1846, 1870 and 1871); more times than any other Mayor of Ipswich.  This is testament to his popularity.  He was often described as a passionate and fiery political figure. 

In 1881, Charles Ganter was running his clock-making business at 19 St. Peter’s Street.  He was later joined by his brother John and sister Louisa, who acted as housekeeper.  They all worked and lived together here until the early twentieth century.  None of the siblings married or had any children. Originally tenants, the brothers purchased number 19 in 1894 for £450.  This marked the first separate sale of the properties of numbers 19 and 21 (21 is now Loveone).


c.1700 - Property was built.  

1757 - William Easterby (butcher)

1757 - Samuel Howes Sr (wig maker)  

1823 - Joseph & Elizabeth Bacon (née Howes)

1839 - Robert Bowman (brewer) buys lot No. 2 (19 & 21) at Rose Inn auction 

1846 - Three daughters of Robert Bowman made tenants in common Susannah, Harriet & Amelia 

1846 - Susannah & George Green Sampson buy out the sisters’ shares

1851 – Birkle Bros (clockmakers)

1885 - William Whymark buys the property at public auction at the Crown & Anchor Inn

1894 - Charles & John Ganter (clockmakers)

1921 - Grace & Frederick Holmes (shorthand school and jeweller/watchmaker)

1938 - Arthur Samuel Green (builder) 

1947 - 1968 – Winifred Demain milliner/ ladies hatter (Ernest Demain, an Ipswich Corporation 

           Electric Tramway employee, bought the property in 1948) 

1979 - Ann Knights (Militaria shop) bought for £9,750 

1989 - Craig Stephen Glover Marchant (barrister) & Anne Viviene Kinella-Jaques  

2012 - Hannah Huntly & Beth Cook (Applaud Coffee)

Rodney Cook

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