Photo of Fleece

Mendlesham Fleece

historical era: 21st century

opened 16th cent

closed late 2012

Front St, IP14 5RX

grid reference TM 103 657

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listed building grade II

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CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.

last updated 25/06/2016

A characterful 15th century beamed pub where 'Ring the Bull' was played.

Towards its later days it specialised in South African food, with many exotic meats on the menu.

The pub closed towards the end of 2012 (precise date unknown). Planning permission for conversion to residential use was granted in July 2014.

Thought to be listed in Corn Hill in 1861.

A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Jul 1850 states :

To be sold by auction, by direction of the Mortgagees, with powers of sale, Lot 1, all that substantial and well timbered free hold messuage, called the Fleece, situated in Mendlesham, having frontage next the street of 75 ft, and comprising of a parlour, 2 kitchens, back house, pantries, cellar, 6 chambers, and attics, with extensive carpenters and blacksmith's shops at the back, and 1r 27p of yard or garden ground, now in the occupations of Mrs Susannah Crowe and Mr Ishmael Quinton. Upon part of the above messuage and premises a large retail beer trade has been for several years carried on, in conjunction with the trade of wheelwright, by the late proprietor, and upon the remainder is an old established blacksmith's shop having a good trade attached.

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


The fleece is a common reference to the wool trade that was very important in Suffolk, particularly in 17th & 18th cent. until cheap imports from the colonies undermined the trade.

NOTE: A messuage equates to a dwelling-house and may include outbuildings, orchard, curtilage or court-yard and garden - this may have been an earlier structure to the current property.