An evening walk on July 11 2013
We met by the 'soldiers' gate' at Foxgrove Gardens dip, where Foxhall Road crosses the shallow valley we would follow that evening. Brick clays show that this valley was occupied by a 'lake' in prehistoric times. Robert Carr owned a brickyard here, between Foxhall Road and the Felixstowe railway to the south. It was here in 1902 that archaeologist Nina Frances Layard discovered flint Acheulian hand-axes of the longest lived human technology, indeed one that transgressed several hominid species. In 1903 she employed two brothers to find flints, which they did plus finding fossil elephant bones and a tooth of a rhinoceros. Brickmaking here was abandoned by the early 1920s and the site is now covered by the houses of Celestion Drive and Bull Road.
Walking along Henslow Road we noted 'Henslow Terrace 1902' built of red bricks, presumably from Carr's brickyard. A short diversion took us to (modern-day) Churchill Avenue, where J.V. Todd excavated in the brickearth at the former small-holding in 1957 and where I put down boreholes in 1966 - neither found any hand-axes. Further along Henslow Road a hand-axe was found in the garden of no.9 in 1942 - it is now in Ipswich Museum. Excavations at the corner of Freehold Road and Bloomfield Street were investigated by me in 1972 and by John Wymer in 1978 - again, no hand-axes were found.
Our last stop was at Starfield Close off Bloomfield Street. This was the site of a brickyard in the early 1870s, but is now occupied by new housing of 'imported' Oxford Clay bricks - what would Robert Powell, brickmaker of Bloomfield Street (1870s) think of that? We finished the meeting with thoughts on the lives of Ipswich people over 400,000 years ago - the first Ipswich Society?