...it's our town

Listed Buildings
of Ipswich St Margaret's Church (Grade I)

Newsletter, October 2011 (Issue 185)

The Brand Building, Tacket Street

Built in two stages fifteen years apart this edifice was designed by prolific Ipswich architects, Eade and Johns. Being north facing, four storeys high in a busy narrow street, this fine 19th century frontage is visually difficult to appreciate. It is a scholarly exercise of fine proportion, rhythm and grouping utilising good quality materials - brick, stone, slate and cast iron, backed up by obvious craftsmanship in all trades. In spite of blatant maltreatment from recent tenants - greasy extract fans and disfiguring floodlighting - the original character is likely to survive, although lack of overall maintenance is evidenced by rainwater disposal problems at the higher levels. The corresponding south side, incidentally difficult to observe let alone to access, has suffered from the ravages of time, weather and neglect.

On a more pleasurable topic, the carved head brackets supporting the second floor balcony, the semi-circular infill to first floor windows and the vigorous decorative detailing of cast iron columns are worthy of mention and scrutiny. A flaking of paint reveals a 'glass fascia' apparently indicating that Mr Brand was a noted draper plying his trade in the first half of the 20th century. A present day 'home brewed' comparison can be linked to the Coe family of Norwich Road who with a recent upgrade of premises have been successful for many years in the clothing world.

Let's hope the future of this elegant Tacket Street facade can be preserved beginning at mansard roof level and working down to the recessed glazing at pavement level. Such hopes must be tempered by suitable occupants and use being found to sustain economic viability - a problem for much of our town centre.

Brian Jepson

    Front cover of issue 185 Cover, issue 185

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