The “Neptune Marina” is the quay based in the center of Ipswich. It used to play a major part in to the local industry has a busy port, but recently it has been renovated so that it now a hub to local businesses, hotels and parts of the university campus. There are also new apartments along the River Orwell overlooking huge yachts.
The Port of Ipswich History
Trade reportedly started in the 8th century, Ipswich became a well established port to the Anglo-Saxon’s base up in Sutton Hoo. When king Edward III ran the country, Ipswich became one of the richest and most important ports in England with wool running out from Suffolk and Norfolk. In 1805 the port developed into a wet dock. A “wet dock” is a man made waterfront where water is locked by dock gates or a lock so that boats can remain afloat when the tide is down. In 1971 development started on the river for “ro-ro” ships, which then continued in 1973, 1977, 1979 and in 1998. Which I personally did not know any of this because I certainly haven’t seen any of these ships along the river. From what I’ve looked up there has been a lot of development to try and rejuvenate trade in Ipswich back to it’s glory days until Felixstowe took over.
The Waterfront Now
A lot of money has been pumped into redeveloping the waterfront in Ipswich. Such notable features are:
- The Mill – Contain 300 apartments, offices, shops and restaurants. This development is incomplete as you can see in some of my images of the two towers that once of them is left derelict. It is, however, occupied by Dance East.
- The Old Custom House.
- Salthouse Harbor Hotel.
- The University Campus Suffolk. – This decorates a big part of the waterfront, it certainly gives the university a distinctive feature for it’s location.
- Holy Trinity Church.
- The Orwell Lady – A ship that tours down the River Orwell down to The Port of Felixstowe. Showing historical parts of Harwich and Shotley.
- Standard restaurants and bars.
Unfortunately the development of the Ipswich Marina has been uncompleted due to financial issues and underestimating the size of the project at hand. This is a real shame, and again shows the attitude of the council at Ipswich (Opinionated rant), something that has real potential but hasn’t been pulled of due to the lack of effort. I mentioned in my Dunwich post this:
“Dunwich is another example of Suffolk’s former glories past. Something that you do not notice when you visit the sleepy county. It shows how it all disappeared due to misfortune as well a lack of forward thinking in the modern era, however, it can not be forgotten that a lot has happened in Suffolk that has made the United Kingdom what it is today.”
Ipswich is yet more evidence that Suffolk really used to be something, full of trade and industry. I’ve walked along the coastline and going to different places you really notice how important towns where, but you notice that is now all gone.