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Ipswich and surrounding area

By early afternoon the cyclists will have made their way to the area north of Ipswich.


Clopton is a small village to the north east of Ipswich.  On the east of the parish between Clopton and Debach lies the airfield that was known as RAF Debach during World War II.  This was home to the USAAF 493d Bombardment Group, part of the 8th Air Force.  To find out more about the role of the USAAF in East Anglia during World War II why not visit The Eighth in The East project website?

OS map showing airfield, 1955-61

OS map showing airfield, 1955-61


The Record Office has a wealth of manorial documents including the records relating to the manors of the Lord Cranworth of Grundisburgh Hall. These beautifully illustrated letters are taken from the survey of Burgh Hall.

Page from survey of Burgh Hall, 1589 (HB9/51/2/26)

Page from survey of Burgh Hall, 1589 (HB9/51/2/26)


Although Bartholomew Gosnold is more commonly known for his Bury connections, he was actually born in Grundisburgh.   Our webpage on Gosnold includes more information about the man and his role in the founding of Jamestown.


Before reaching Ipswich the Tour of Britain takes the competitors through Tuddenham St Martin, not to be confused with Tuddenham which is near Mildenhall.  The Suffolk Parish History entry for Tuddenham St Martin details the types of agriculture practiced in the village over the last thousand years. This licence is taken from a local solicitor’s collection, held at the Ipswich branch.

Licence for agricultural gangmaster, 4 Feb 1869 (HB10/50/20/16/1)

Licence for agricultural gangmaster, 4 Feb 1869 (HB10/50/20/16/1)


The tour takes the riders around the north east of the County Town before leading them into Kesgrave.

Ipswich has a very rich and varied history.  The town was founded in the late 6th or early 7th century and was known by the Anglo-Saxons as Gipeswic.  By the 8th century the settlement had spread over most of the present town centre, and indeed the Anglo-Saxon street pattern can still be seen. The most important industry was the manufacture of pottery, the kilns producing distinctive ‘Ipswich Ware’. Gipeswic, can be translated as Gip or Gippi’s trading port or harbour. Alternatively it may derive from a topographical description of the settlement’s location referring to the gip, gap or opening forming the Orwell estuary. The river was to be of central importance to the development of the town.

Several hundred years later the river is of importance to the Record Office as we plan our new building on the Waterfront.  Check out the latest news on The Hold here.


Kesgrave is home to the Kesgrave Panthers Cycle Speedway Club.  Their website describes cycle speedway as

Short oval shale tracks, four riders head-to-head. Explosive, elbow-to-elbow action. No brakes.

If you’re interested in trying it out, have a look at their website.  If you want to know more about the development of Cycle Speedway since the Second World War you may want to visit the Cycle Speedway History website.