Ipswich
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Newsletter, July 2014 (Issue 196)

Ipswich Icons: Harmony Square


The series of articles in the East Anglian Daily Times under the 'Ipswich Icons' banner have proved a success (in terms of letting the county know of our existence, increasing the Society's membership and occasionally generating correspondence). A case in point was the article on Ipswich's barracks, and the Duke of York (halfway up Woodbridge Road hill). Was this the pub they were in when they were neither up, nor down?

I was aware that there is a similar claim, not only from Woodbridge (the pub there changed its name to The Seal before changing it back to the Duke of York) and from other towns where hills and pubs co-exist. However I was contacted by the Assistant County Surveyor for East Suffolk (a local authority disbanded in 1974) who was born in the officers' quarters, Harmony Square next to the surgery in Woodbridge Road (and almost opposite Ipswich's Duke of York). This square consisted of two rows of single bedroom cottages facing each other across an open courtyard: eleven on one side and nine on the other with a chapel at the eastern end, and a narrow passage to Woodbridge Road where the original gate posts are still in place.

One of these cottages suffered bomb damage during the World War II but it was repaired, however the whole complex was demolished in 1957 and flats, now called Hanover Square built on the site. None of this proves that Ipswich was the source of the rhyme but it adds to the evidence.

John Norman

    Front cover of issue 196 Cover, issue 196

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