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Ipswich Town Defences

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Ipswich.
In the historic county of Suffolk.
Modern Authority of Suffolk.
1974 county of Suffolk.
Medieval County of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TM164437
Latitude 52.05860° Longitude 1.15067°

Ipswich Town Defences has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The defences of the Medieval Town of Ipswich consisted of an earthen ditch and rampart with entrances into the town through the north and west gates (see TM 14 SE 38,43). The rampart enclosing the town was constructed in 1204. (PastScape ref. West and Charman 1963)

No remains of medieval town wall. (Bond 1987)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1352 July 22 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


There certainly was a ditch (over 4m wide) but the evidence for a wall is less clear and it may never have a complete circuit even if it was built in C14 as is suggested by some evidence. Encrouchment on the ditch was extensive by C15 and there is no real trace of a ditch on Speeds map of 1610. The ditch may predate 1203 when they are recorded as being dug (or possible enlarged). PastScape records ditch with suggestion of some remains but does not give accurate location. Five years murage granted in 1299. Licence to crenellate issued in 1352 along with six years murage, although this murage was revoked in 1354.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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