The modern town centre of Ipswich, centred at Ordnance Survey grid point TM 1590 4060, lies on the site of its middle Saxon predecessor (Gippeswic).
Despite the recognition of the town’s Saxon foundation in the 1950s, little opportunity was taken to undertake archaeological excavation within the historic core until the 1970s. The recognition at this time that middle Saxon Ipswich was one of only a handful of trading settlements displaying urban characteristics (emporia/wics) elevated the town’s archaeological status to one of international importance.
Results and raw data are available as part of the Ipswich Historic Core Excavation Archive project (with associated signposting document) which was carried out between 2009 and 2015 and the Ipswich Urban Archaeology Database Project (UAD) which was carried out between 2015 and 2017. The archive project consolidated the work of the 36 excavations that took place in Ipswich between the creation of the Suffolk Archaeological Unit in 1974 and Planning Policy 16 in 1990. The UAD enhanced the Historic Environment Record for Ipswich to national standards.
Following these projects an archaeological Supplementary Planning Document was adopted by Ipswich Borough Council in November 2018.
These projects were funded by Historic England.