Monument record IPS 191 - Westgate, Corner of Lady Lane and Westgate Street, (IAS 1603)

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Westgate of Ipswich, exposed in excavations by IPSMG in advance of construction 1967.


Grid reference Centred TM 1601 4474 (46m by 38m)
Map sheet TM14SE


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Westgate of Ipswich. Excavated by IPSMG in 1967, shown to be constructed of large flints and erratic boulders with ashlar quoins. Stone tooling of plinth probably 13th Century and identified as coming from Caen, Normandy. Gate rebuilt shortly after 1446 and turned into a gaol until demolished in 1781- 1782. 18th Century engravings illustrate the building at this time (S1)

At the east end of the site the gate had been destroyed, to the depth of the excavation,by the cellar of the tobacconist's,but under the Feathers a chunk of masonry was exposed 10 ft. from the edge of the pavement 16 ft. long and with a maximum width of 4 ft. It rose in places to within 9 ins, of the present day ground level and continued to a depth of at least 14 ft. 6 ins., the limit of the exploratory hole generouslydug by the contractors (S1).

Ipswich, Westgate Street (TM/16054471). Part of the West Gate of the town was uncovered when the Feathers Public House was demolished. It was traced for a length of 18feet and to a depth of 14 feet 6 inches. It was constructed of rubble faced with ashlar blocks identified by Dr. Anderson as Caen stone. 8 feet below the street level was a plinth. The surrounding silty fill contained bones mainly of sheep, numerous oyster shells, Thetford ware, and mediaeval pottery. Part of a 16th century frilly based tyg wasfound at the levelof the plinth. The top 12feet of the gate was removed by the builders. Foundation pits cut through the ramparts in three places, but were not deep enough to detect the town ditch. The neck of a bellarminejug containing a nail was found beneath the floor; though this appeared to have been used as a witch bottle, it was tested for phosphates by Dr. Paulsen and gave a negative reaction. (Shears-Neal Ltd.). (I.M. 967—58) (S4).

(See also S2, S3, S5, S6).

[letter, number] refers to mentions in the Suffolk Council Archaeological Service Ipswich Documentary Card index.
The great gate/gateway 1298

Visible on Speede's Map of 1610, S8

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <S1> Article in serial: Owles, E. & Smedley, N.. 1971. The West Gate of Ipswich.
  • <S2> Bibliographic reference: Glyde J. 1889. Illustrations of Old Ipswich. Glyde J, Illustrations of Old Ipswich, 1889, 3.
  • <S3> Index: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. 1974. Ipswich Archaeological Survey Card Index (digital version).. IAS 1603.
  • <S4> Article in serial: Owles, E. & Smedley, N.. Archaeology in Suffolk, 1967.
  • <S5> Index: Suffolk Archaeology Unit. 1974. SAU index card and Archive. IAS 1603.
  • <S6> Index: Ipswich Museum. IPSMG card. 967-58.
  • <S7> Index: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Ipswich Documentary Card index.
  • <S8> Cartographic materials: Speede, J.. 1610. Map of Ipswich..
  • <S9> Digital archive: Historic England. National Record Of the Historic Environment.

Finds (7)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

May 21 2021 2:40PM

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