Pubs, churches, sports domes and even a bus stop are among 54 structures in Ipswich set to be added to the list of local buildings of special interest. Ipswich Borough Council’s Local List was drawn up in 2013 to recognise buildings and structures in the town with historic or architectural merit which do not qualify for formal Listing by Historic England. This year, 54 new additions to the list are to be considered and, while most are residential homes, there are plenty of other prominent public structures. Outlined below are some of the most unusual.
Civic Drive Spiral Car Park. The car park, built between 1964 and 1967, is loved and hated in equal measure in the town, but is considered to have architectural value with an “interesting approach to provide car parking”. The car park also contrasts to more traditional multi-storey complexes, according to the Local List.
Nacton Road bus shelter. While there is, of course, more than one bus stop in Nacton Road, the mid-20th Century bus shelter at the junction of Clapgate Lane is a little more eye-catching than most. It was built among the house building boom of the inter-war years to serve the growing community in east Ipswich, and is cited for inclusion on the 2020 Local List for its ‘distinctive design’ and ‘landmark value’.
Two sports domes are proposed for inclusion in 2020. A common sight during the 1960s and 1970s when architect Birkin Haward designed a series of domes across schools in Ipswich for sports use. Dale Hall Community Primary School is among those to still have one, and is the first of Haward’s domes to be constructed in the town in 1967. The dome at Inspire Suffolk is also up for inclusion, having first served as a sports hall for Nacton Heath Secondary School. ‘Contributing to a distinctive architectural language of sport and recreation in Ipswich in the 20th Century’.
Corporation Avenue Railway Bridge. For those familiar with the Bourne Park area of Ipswich, the 19th Century buff brick arch will be a prominent landmark. ‘The highly decorative appearance of the bridge shows the pride in transport infrastructure which was so prevalent in the 19th Century, with progress in engineering being celebrated by ensuring structures were prominent and architecturally detailed.’
Constantine House, Constantine Road. The Local List said Constantine House is included for ‘historic interest as a relic associated with the industrial history of the town and approaches to early 20th Century public transport.’ Dating back to the 1920s, the Constantine House range was built to provide power to the trolleybus network which replaced the trams. Today it is an office complex, but still contains reminders of its transport past.
Public houses. This year there is a drive to recognise some of the town’s favourite pubs: The Mulberry Tree may be closed to drinkers but is getting a new lease of life as a community centre/mosque, while other pubs for inclusion are The Station Hotel, The Gardener’s Arms, The Earl Kitchener, The Inkerman, and The Man on the Moon.
Churches. Several churches are also due for inclusion this year, including St Augustine’s Church, St Francis Church and St Mary Magdalene Church.
[Congratulations to Mike Taylor and Rebecca Styles, Ipswich Borough Conservation Officers, for all the work they’ve done on this list and the Ipswich Urban Character Area documents. Local listing can confer a certain amount of protection to structures and buildings which might be threatened with demolition or drastic changes. –Ed.]