'To encourage walking in the town and an interest in the built environment' - a splendid way was on the Ipswich Society walk on 19 June, 2014.
Starting at Northgate Street Library we saw red bricks made from London Clay at Dales Road brickworks and Ancaster Limestone from Lincolnshire. In Tavern Street beautiful St John's Travertine from Italy was lost when McDonalds went 'green'. However, Tower Ramparts Centre provided us with two Italian rocks, green Verde Issorie from the Val d'Aosta, and Botticino Limestone which we tested for its loading and wear characteristics as a floorstone.
The Town Hall and Corn Exchange were viewed in Princes Street, with their fine Portland and Bath Stones. The red sandstone pillars on the Town Hall are of Mansfield Stone, an ancient desert sandstone for our Cornhill! A stop in Queen Street enabled us to see the splendid white feldspar crystals in the granite kerbstones.
At St Peter's Church we said hello to the Ipswich Society members on duty and then admired the Tournai Limestone fonts. Outside we saw a wall made of septaria, the 'Harwich Cliff Stone' that Cardinal Wolsey wanted for his Ipswich College, but failed to get.
In Stoke Bridge Pocket Park we viewed the Ipswich Society promoted artwork - the three local sarsenstones (a sandstone) arranged by Bernard Reynolds in the 1970s. This impressive feature has since had an interesting history - it has been painted (graffiti/'street art'), mechanically distressed, and urinated on (by humans). But that seat should surely be moved - it is not an original feature and adds nothing to the artwork.
Had we started this walk (at the Library site) 20 centuries earlier we would have been standing on the bank of the Ipswich Brook. But having reached the River Orwell in 2014 we saw the modern outfall of the Ipswich Brook near Stoke Bridge, having already passed over its (man-made) course under Star Lane. We also saw the outfall of the Little Gipping River, which we then traced by its underground course behind the Cardinal Park restaurants to the 'bump' in Wolsey Street.
Our last stop of the walk was at St Nicholas Church with its show of septaria and where Caroline showed us a 'cone of percussion' in one of the flints. We concluded by considering the recycling processes within the graves giving rise to 'corpse candles', pale flitting glows as gases rose from the grave and perhaps providing ghostly sightings to the living inhabitants of our town.