Ipswich Gun Inn
19 Key St
grid reference TM 166 441Something we've got wrong about this establishment? Something more you think we should know about it? Please email us
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CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.
last updated 17/07/2015
This was one of Ipswich's most ancient inns; one of only 24 listed on a town assessment of 1689.
As shown on an 1881 map:
This premises was listed in the 1844 White's Directory with carriers operating from the inn to Branston, Lavenham, Manningtree.
Also listed at John St and Lower Orwell St.
A reference in the Ipswich Journal*** on 01 Jan 1743 to the Gun at Ipswich.
A report in the Ipswich Journal** in May 1820 states :
To be sold by auction, without reserve, all the household furniture and other effects, of Mr W Carter, at the Gun Inn, St. Mary Key, Ipswich, who is changing his residence on account of a death in his family; comprising nine 4-post and tent bedsteads, with cotton and moreen furnitures, 4 stump bedsteads, 9 featherbeds and bedding, 4 flock beds, chest with drawers, mahogany bureau, chamber table and chairs, bason stands, basons and ewers, bedside carpets, mahogany and wainscot dining, Pembroke, and flap tables, pier and dressing glasses, excellent 8 day clock, in japanned case; excellent 2 motion beer engine, with pipes complete; washing copper, glass and earthenware, fender and fire irons, about a hundred feet of deal forms, and deal table, useful for a large club room, or suitable for schools; good copper boiler and saucepans, and a general assortment of household effects, and good kitchen requisites. The Inn to be let, with immediate possession, by taking a few fixtures.
A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Sep 1875 states :
A much needed and desirable improvement, and one that will be an agreeable surprise, is shortly to be made in Key Street, Ipswich. The old public house known as the Gun, which has filled the angle of the two streets, Key Street and Lower Orwell Street, from time almost beyond memory, is being pulled down, and a handsome edifice, pointed with stone masonry, of which Messrs. Gibbons and Messrs. Chinnock have the design, and Mr Cotman is the architect, is to take its place. The owner of the property is Mr J C Cobbold, of Holy Wells, and he is now about rebuilding it. The old house is in a very dilapidated state, and has been so for some time past. It has doubtless a share of history attached to it, like other ancient edifices in this Borough, but no mention of it is made in Piper's, History of Ipswich, not withstanding that he alludes to the old private house, of wooden structure, opposite, which was until recently the Old Fish Market. This is certainly good hearing, as the corner has been an eyesore for a very long time. As the house will be of an attractive appearance, and in close proximity to the dock, it will doubtless prove a great accommodation in many ways to captains and other visitors.
(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)
(some census information from Dudley Diaper)
(some old PO directory information courtesy of londonpublichouse.com)
(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)
(*** historic newspaper information from Bob Mitchell)