Building record IPS 2059 - 3-5 Silent Street

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Early timber-framed Tudor inn


Grid reference Centred TM 1626 4430 (13m by 14m)
Map sheet TM14SE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

3-5 Silent Street forms part of a much larger timber-framed building consisting of 45-47 Nicholas Street and 1-9 Silent Street. Built in two phases during the late-15th and early-16th centuries and listed in three sections at Grade II* this corner property can be interpreted as one of the most complete and important early Tudor inns anywhere in Britain. Nos. 3-5 occupy the parlour cross wing of the original late-15th century structure, which appears to have reflected the usual domestic layout of its period but with a separate gateway and a rear gallery of a kind only found at this period in inns. The building was of large scale and high quality , including traceried windows in the parlour's back wall. At the beginning of the 16th century this inn was extended by adding a new hall to the left of the parlour in Silent Street and a large room with a separate entrance against St Nicholas Street. The new structure was of exceptional quality, with finely carved ceilings, one of the earliest side-purlin roofs in East Anglia, a jettied rear gallery and a vaulted cellar. The hall was entered by a cross-passage adjoining the old parlour, the front door of which lay beneath a projecting porch that also sheltered the cellar steps. Part of the gallery overlapped the parlour wing to create a new first-floor link, and a fine plank-and-muntin screen with a carved door head was inserted into the parlour chamber to extend the gallery's length. This screen survives largely intact, and there are traces of 17th century wall painting in the adjoining room. A stair turret was added to the rear wall above the entrance to a new cellar in the late-16th or 17th century, preserving the moulded mullions of the jettied gallery, and at some point the side wall of the ground floor parlour was removed to incorporate the entire cross-passage of the new hall. In consequence the finely moulded and embattled joists of its ceiling now form part of nos. 3-5 together with a carved bracket of exceptional quality bearing a wyvern on one side and a thistle on the other. Much of the rare jettied gallery also lies within the property. A new passage and a narrow chimney were inserted on the opposite side of the parlour as part of a late Georgian refurbishment, and the ground-floor room contains a characterful variety of 17th century panelling and later boarding. Despite a restoration in the 1920s which saw the exposure of its external framing and the apparent demolition of a rear wing in the 1950s, the property has largely escaped the usual ravages of the 20th century and its internal surfaces are likely to conceal evidence of additional 17th century painted decoration along with Georgian and Victorian wall papers (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2017. Heritage Asset Assessment: 3-5 Silent Street, Ipswich.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Feb 19 2019 10:41AM

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