P is for Physic Garden

Today Coyte’s Garden is a paved lane which leads from Friars Street to Princes Street but it derives its name from an 18th century physick garden which once stood there.  The origins of the garden are uncertain, but it was created by Dr William Beeston, perhaps to supply medicinal herbs for his own use and that of other local medical practitioners.  He bequeathed it to his nephew, William Coyte, after whom it was named, in his will dated 1732.  The latter then handed it over to his son, William Beeston Coyte who, with his keen interest in botany, took great delight in the garden. Before 1794 Coyte began the preparation for his Hortus Botanicus Gippovicensis, a catalogue of the 24 classes of plant that presumably grew in the garden.

Extract showing Coyte's Garden, taken from Pennington's map of Ipswich, 1778

Extract showing Coyte’s Garden, taken from Pennington’s map of Ipswich, 1778

Pennington’s map of Ipswich shows us the position and layout of the garden in 1778.

More information can be found about William Beeston Coyte and his Hortus Botanicus in Volume XXXIX of the Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, 1999 (Pages 339-352).