IPSWICH, situated at the head of the Orwell estuary, was a rich trading port in the Middle Ages, but its appearance today is mainly the result of a revival of fortunes in the Victorian era – give or take some clumsy postwar development. The two surviving reminders of old Ipswich – Christchurch Mansion and the splendid Ancient House – plus the recently renovated quayside are all reason enough to spend at least an afternoon here, and there’s also the Cornhill, the ancient Saxon marketplace and still the town’s focal point, an agreeable urban space flanked by a bevy of imposing Victorian edifices – the Italianate town hall, the old Neoclassical Post Office and the grandiose pseudo-Jacobean Lloyds building.

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