Monument record IPS 222 - The Ancient House, Corner of Buttermarket and St. Stephens Lane, Ipswich, (IAS 3202)

Please read our .


No details for Ancient House. Listed Building, grade 1.


Grid reference Centred TM 1638 4453 (19m by 28m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TM14SE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Listed Building, grade 1. No details for Ancient House. An additional (scheduled) area on the South is a two-storey West wing along St. Stephen's Lane. The decoration looks mainly Charles II but much of the structure looks Med. It consists of: the courtyard with first floor passage on street side supported on four wooden fluted columns; on the opposite side a (now painted) pannelled room and tiled passage off the far corner; to the South of this a fine oak-panelled room with plaster ceiling; panelled and plastered rooms above these, and in the roof over one of the South-orientated so-called chapel. (S1, S5).

October 1980: Test hole revealed septaria and sand cobble layer and Thetford Ware.

C. 1983: well probably filled in 16th Century, augered to 1.9m below cellar floor, (S2).

May 1997: Descheduled (S1).

See also sources (S2-S4, S6)

[letter, number] refers to mentions in the Suffolk Council Archaeological Service Ipswich Documentary Card index (S7).
C18, P24, P34
Mentioned 1567.

Sparrow's House, also called the 'Ancient House', contains aheavy 15th century hammer beam roof no doubt belonging to the sollar wing of a house whose Hall was in the front range and was, internally and externally, converted circa 1670; the multitude of motifs on the facade are clearly of this date. (S7, S8)

The Ancient House, or Sparrow's House, as it was formerly known (a) dates from 1567. The facade, containing the arms of Charles II, dates from circa 1670. The 15th century wing, at the rear, the sole remains of an earlier building on the site, was the chapel. At the Reformation, a floor was inserted, and the chapel hidden in rafters which was rediscovered in 1801. The house, used as business premises by W E Harrison & Son Ltd, booksellers, has recently been restored externally by Ministry of Works. (S12)

Sources/Archives (15)

  • --- Index: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Ipswich Documentary Card index.
  • --- Index: Historic England. Related Archives/Objects from NRHE. OP22524.
  • --- Unpublished document: SCCAS. ?. Timber-framed building survey of Ipswich - 25-31 Buttermarket, Ipswich.
  • <S1> Unpublished document: 1974. DOE, Scheduling information, 1974: The Ancient House, Corner of Buttermarket and St. Stephens Lane, Ipswich, DOE, Scheduling information, 1974. DOE, Scheduling information, 1974.
  • <S2> Source Unchecked: English Heritage. Scheduled Ancient Monument File: The Ancient House, Corner of Buttermarket and St. Stephens Lane, Ipswich, (IAS 3202).. Scheduled Ancient Monument File.
  • <S3> Index: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. 1974. Ipswich Archaeological Survey Card Index (digital version).. IAS 3202.
  • <S4> Index: Suffolk Archaeology Unit. 1974. SAU index card and Archive. IAS 3202.
  • <S5> Bibliographic reference: Redstone, Lillian, J.. 1948. Ipswich Through the Ages.
  • <S6> Article in serial: R. W. McDowell. 1952. The Domestic Architecture of Ipswich.
  • <S7> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner N & Radcliffe E. 1974. The Buildings of England: Suffolk.
  • <S8> Bibliographic reference: Clarke, G, R.. 1830. History of Ipswich.
  • <S9> Index: DoE. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Ipswich Urban District 19/12/1951.
  • <S10> Index: DoE. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Ipswich 04/08/1972.
  • <S11> Digital archive: Historic England. National Record Of the Historic Environment. BF088633.
  • <S12> Source Unchecked: RCHME?. Various. Field Investigators Comments.

Finds (3)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

Record last edited

May 24 2021 12:04PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.