Report - East Suffolk County Hall, Ipswich - April..." />Report - East Suffolk County Hall, Ipswich - April..." />Report - East Suffolk County Hall, Ipswich - April...">

East Suffolk County Hall, Ipswich

Discussion in 'Tourism' started by photovideobot, Feb 19, 2017.

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  1. photovideobot

    photovideobotNew Member

    Report - East Suffolk County Hall, Ipswich - April 2016 by WildBoyz from 28DL Urban Exploration.


    East Suffolk County Hall, otherwise known as Ipswich County Hall, was constructed between 1836 and 1837 by William McIntosh Brooks. Built before the reign of Queen Victoria, the imposing design of the Grade II listed building is based on a ‘mock Tudor’ style, rather than a Victorian style. The County Hall was originally the area’s gaol and law court. However, following extensions in 1906, built by J. S. Corner and Henry Miller, to add council offices to the site, the building became the Headquarters of East Suffolk County Council. While the County Hall was gradually transformed, so that it boasted stained glass windows and fine wood panelling, it still continued to hold a number of prisoners in its cells; of course these were nicely hidden away to avoid spoiling the pleasant atmosphere of the building. In 1974 the building became the Headquarters of Suffolk County Council when most of the county merged to form the non-metropolitan County of Suffolk.

    The Council opted to move out of the building in 2003, to relocate to a more modern site; the County Council leader at the time, Bryony Rudkin, described the building as being too ‘unattractive’ for its intended role. The move took place in 2004, when the Council moved to Endeavour House, the former TXU Corporation building.

    After the pub, and milling around Ipswich for an hour or so, we stumbled across a large awe-inspiring building; this, as it would turn out, was the former County Hall. At the time, however, we didn’t know this, it simply looked cool and we wanted to see what surprises it had on offer inside (things to photograph, not copper). At first glance, the place look as though it was sealed up tight; we spent a long while checking out all of its nooks and crannies, searching for even the smallest gap that might look hopeful. On the verge of giving up, we had one last quick look around the building. It was at that point we realised the way in had been in front of us the whole time…

    For the full article and all photos visit the above link.

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  3. martinc

    martincFounder Member

    thats shocking , it's quite upsetting to see such an iconic building in that state, and a Listed building as well. SCC should be ashamed of the way they handled that, and the current owner should be taken to task over letting it descend into that poor condition. Here's the listing;
    List Entry Summary
    This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
    List entry Number: 1207685
    The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
    County: Suffolk
    District: Ipswich
    District Type: District Authority
    National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
    Grade: II
    Date first listed: 04-Aug-1972
    Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.
    Legacy System Information
    The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
    Legacy System: LBS
    UID: 275558
    Asset Groupings
    This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.
    List entry Description
    Summary of Building
    Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
    Reasons for Designation
    Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
    Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
    1. 1260 ST HELEN'S STREET (South Side)

    County Hall Main entrance block TM 1644 NE 2/319


    2. An early C19 grey gault brick building formerly the courthouse, now the Shire Hall. The C18 gaol stood at the rear (now demolished). It was designed by W McIntosh Brooks in 1836, in the Tudor style. Its powerful design well characterises its original purpose. The frontage is about 150 ft long, with a central entrance, block with twin castellated tower, castellated side wings and 2 slightly projecting end pavilions. The central entrance block has sham machicolations and a stone mullioned and transomed window, casements with glazing bars, in splayed stone reveals. The windows in the towers have stone hood moulds. A central entrance door has heavy double doors, each of 8 panels with a heavy portcullis grille above, set in a 4 centred moulded brick arch. The side wings are unfenestrated apart from 4 heavily barred windows low down in the east wing. The end pavilions have 4 centred arched windows with splayed stone reveals and hood moulds on the ground storey and stone mullioned and transomed windows with splayed stone reveals on the 1st storey. A moulded stone string course runs across the wings and end pavilions, with a central carved stone coat of arms in each wing. The front rises above a deep battered stone plinth. A shield above the entrance doors bears the date 1837.
  4. Ipswi


    It should be reported as a Heritage Crime.

    County Hall is on the Ipswich Buildings at Risk Register. It is disgusting that Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council has allowed it to get into such a state. IBC seems content that the building is "secure" after much of the vandalism and decided not to take any further action. Ipswich can take a sigh of relief when Bryony Rudkin finally steps down.

    It is one of many reasons against the two tier local government system. Both councils inherited so many assets they haven't respected and neglected over the years. SCC needed a new headquarters I am sure and were lucky to buy up Endeavour House at a steal. The 80s built St Edmund House down the road was getting old (now flats - or soon to be) and SCC managed to obtain Landmark House in a similar fashion to Endeavour House to relocate the rest of their staff to. I think later the penny dropped that they prefer Bury St Edmunds...

    Also of note, the telephone box outside... (Telephone Kiosk Outside County Hall )  Grade II Listed.
    Telephone kiosk. Type K6. Designed 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. Made by various contractors. Cast iron. Square kiosk with domed roof. Unperforated crowns to top panels and margin glazing to windows and door.

    County Hall is clearly worthy to become a tourist attraction - too bad it isn't anywhere near the Ipswich Waterfront or the new North-South town centre axis. The current owners cannot utilise this as it is listed they only purchased it for the land at the back to built flats! In this case, the land (at the front) should have never changed hands! A civic museum would be really special here. Relocation of the Suffolk Constabulary Museum, and similar for the fire service and local government structure and the like would work well.
  5. Ipswi


    Ben Gummer on County Hall:-
    County Hall

    [...] What has not gone well is the life of this building ever since. More important for what has happened there than how it looks, it provides an unhappy footnote in our nation’s history – the last public hanging in Suffolk and the place where Wallis Simpson was granted her divorce. You can feel the bad karma even now – with cells for the condemned in the bowels of the building, almost emanating their sad histories around what lies above.

    I find it hard to love, as you will tell, but it is part of the fabric of the town and with some money, would provide the venue for some far happier occasions. For this is the plan of Suffolk County Council and the developer: by moving the county’s Register Office into the fine former council chamber, thereby creating a dignified and beautiful place to conduct civil marriage ceremonies. The entrance hall would in turn provide a more decorous space to register births and deaths, while the large rooms around would be good for hosting wedding receptions. The rest of the building, meanwhile, could be converted with some effort to good houses overlooking the courtyard where I sat, bored, thirty years ago.

    This is not some pipe dream, as the transformation has already begun. St Andrew’s House has been transformed into extremely nice flats by Barnes on behalf of Iceni Homes – the top ones would command high prices were they sold as penthouse flats. It is another part of the town that is finding its renaissance, as – bit by bit – we put right the damage and dereliction done to the town over many decades.
  6. Ipswi


    Three months ago I said the following...
    County Hall is clearly worthy to become a tourist attraction – too bad it isn’t anywhere near the Ipswich Waterfront or the new North-South town centre axis. [...] A civic museum would be really special here. Relocation of the Suffolk Constabulary Museum, and similar for the fire service and local government structure and the like would work well.

    Ipswich parliamentary candidate Sandy Martin has suggested the second thing he would do is turn county hall into a "theme park", as a tourist attraction for Americans. We should milk this, probably one of the few reasons Ipswich is frown upon by royalty and government alike . American socialite Wallis Simpson got her second divorce at county hall (chosen as a low-key location, she resided in Felixstowe to be able to qualify) in order to marry King Edward VIII who abdicated the throne to do this. This is such a significant part of British history, it is unbelievable. It pretty much marked the end of the British Empire.

    Ipswich can attract tourists - Oldest English Town - the county hall museum, Ancient House museum and Great White Horse Hotel; in addition to the Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion which are free entry. It is a disgrace that emphasis has been on a leisure area (waterfront) which isn't that significant in Suffolk, let alone the region or the country!

    Unfortunately the GWHH is lost, the Ancient House will remain a shop... but lets hope we can regain something with the county hall, if he gets elected.

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