Ipswich Suffolk Hotel
previously known as Suffolk Stores
opened before 1800?
closed February 1905
23 Westgate St
grid reference TM 161 446
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last updated 12/04/2015
Closed in 1905 when a license renewal was refused.
At some time before 1888, the Bear & Crown was incorporated into the Suffolk Hotel. The 1884 OS map shows two distinct pubs where the Suffolk now stands, perhaps confirming this?
Another story reports that it was originally called the Bear & Crown and rebuilt as the Suffolk Hotel after a 19th century fire. The previous story seems more convincing though.
In 1839 the Suffolk was listed in St Matthews st.
A report in the Ipswich Journal** in May 1835 states :
To be sold by auction, by the instructions of the Executors of the late Mr Thomas Lappage, deceased, that old established and well frequented tavern, the Suffolk Hotel, most advantageously situate in the centre of the town of Ipswich, consisting of a most substantial brick built house, presenting a most imposing front. The house is spacious, and the rooms 40 in number, comprise of 8 parlours of good dimensions, 3 of which are divided by shifting partitions, beautifully fitted, making when removed a splendid ballroom, 54ft long by 20ft wide, and 13ft high; 25 capital sleeping rooms, nursery, bar, liquor bar, large kitchen, back house, larder, coal house, store rooms; the whole extremely arranged and replete with every convenience; extensive wine and spirit cellars, a tap, well accustomed; stables, capital, (often accommodating 100 horses,) with lofts and corn chambers over. In the yards, which are paved and quite entire, is a pump of good water. The only outgoing a land tax of £8 16s 0d per annum.
A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Aug 1835 states :
James Rowell having purchased and entered upon the Suffolk Hotel, Commercial Inn and Posting House, Ipswich, respectfully informs his friends and the public that he has made arrangements for carrying on the above business on the most advantageous terms, to meet the exigencies of the present times, and trusts, that by care and attention to the comfort of those who may favour him with a share of their patronage and support, to merit a continuance of the same. From the great improvements making in the interior department of the above Inn, J R has no doubt that it will meet the approbation of commercial gentlemen in particular, and families visiting Ipswich. Neat Post Chaise, open and close Fly carriages, and horses and Gigs to let.
A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Aug 1840 states :
To be sold by auction, the first rate posting and commercial inn, and family hotel, called the Suffolk Hotel, situated in St. Mathew's, near the Cornhill, Ipswich, in the occupation of Mr Edward Smith, under a lease of 14 years, from last April, at the rent of £170 per annum. The house is spacious, and the rooms, 40 in number, are lofty and spacious, well arranged and replete with every convenience; the cellarage is good; tap well accustomed; excellent stabling, often accommodating nearly one hundred horses, with hay and corn chambers over. The estate is entirely freehold, and the only outgoing is a land tax of £3 16s 0d per annum. The house which has an imposing front, is in a good state of repair, and in the hands of a spirited tenant, who spares for no expense in improving the property, or exertions in extending the business of the establishment.
Advert placed in the Ipswich Journal, November 1840, Smith's Suffolk Hotel, Posting and Commercial Inn, posting reduced to 1s 3d per mile; neat Phaetons, Gigs, Post Chaises, etc..
A report in the Ipswich Journal*** on 11 Mar in 1848 states :
Suffolk Hotel, Ipswich - Sale of furniture for Mr CHERINTON, who is leaving this occupation.
In 1865 Charles Ede (wine, spirit & ale merchant - sole agent for Elliot, Watney & Co's London Porter, Burton brewery Co & Bass & Co's pale & strong ales, Guinness & Maunder's Dublin Stout at Hyde Pk corner, St Mathews St) is also trading from the Suffolk Stores, 23 Westgate St?
Hotel manager reported at 10 Providence St. in 1881 census.
(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)
(** information from Stuart Ansell)
(*** historic newspaper information from Bob Mitchell)
Closure date from Borough Police records.