Join CAMRA online
no picture yet

Ipswich Griffin Inn


opened 16th cent

closed 1842

Westgate St

grid reference TM 162 446

Something we've got wrong about this establishment? Something more you think we should know about it? Please email us
View in Google Earth
last updated 21/07/2015

This was one of the town's most ancient inns; one of only 24 to appear on a town assessment of 1689. It's actually recorded as far back as 1528. It stood on the site of the later Crown & Anchor.

C H Evelyn White**** tells us that:

It was in the Griffin yard, that previous to the erection of a Theatre, stage plays were frequently performed by the Duke of Grafton's and other companies. In the latter part of the last century, the house was kept by one, Selby, whose family were legatees under the extraordinary Will of the eccentric Lord Chedworth, to a total sum of £14,500. His lordship had a special love for the drama, and several actors and others benefited under his will. Much of Lord Chedworth's time appears to have been spent in this house.

Historically may be called a commercial inn.

A report in the Ipswich Journal*** on 11 & 18 Mar 1727 that states :

At the Wine Cellar over against the Griffin, near the Corn hill in Ipswich, is sold right good Rhenish Wine, and young hock, at six shillings per Gallon, or eighteen pence per Quart.

A reference in the Ipswich Journal*** on 31 Jan 1736 to the Griffin in Ipswich

A reference in the Ipswich Journal*** on 17 Mar 1733 to the Griffin in St Matthew's, Ipswich

A report in the Ipswich Journal*** on 21 Mar 1741 states :

The Rummer Wine-Cellar over against the Griffin, near the Corn Hill, Ipswich is now open'd by William Wade.

Stood somewhere on a site which is now partly now covered by Crown & Anchor and was pulled down in about 1842. One 18th century landlord of the ancient inn was a man called Selby who inherited £14,500 from Lord Chedworthon the grounds that he "was in no wise related." Apparently the nobelman was a known eccentric and had a strong predeliction for the drama - and also left money to performers of a nearby Playhouse, which was built in the Griffin's former yard in 1728.

A report in the Ipswich Journal**** on 16 Oct in 1802 states that :

Brush Manufactory - Notice that Thomas BENTLEY will transfer his residency from the Buttermarket to The Griffin Inn, next door, near the Cornhill, Ipswich

(No reference to acting in the licensed trade - maybe just a lodger, but details of location of Inn)

A report in the Bury & Norwich Post** on Sep-16 in 1829 when Samuel Oldham was landlord states:

A coroners inquest was held at the Royal William public House on the body of Mr Samuel Oldham aged 45, landlord of the Porters Lodge who was found drowned in the Gipping near Deep Corner. In evidence it was deposed that Oldham had been in low spirits for some time. It was supposed that this was due to a law proceeding against him for debt. Oldham had lately kept the Griffin and was an industrious man much respected.

(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)

(detailed information from Old inns of Suffolk by Leonard P Thompson)

(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)

(*** historic newspaper information from Bob Mitchell)

(**** Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and Natural History, 1888)


A griffin is a fabulous monster - half eagle and half lion - popular in heraldry and often spelt griffon or gryphon.