Facts about Ipswich
The seventh-century town was centred near the quay. Towards 700 AD, Frisian potters from the Netherlands area settled in Ipswich and set up the first large-scale potteries in England since Roman times. Their wares were traded far across England, and the industry was unique to Ipswich for 200 years. With growing prosperity, in about 720 AD a large new part of the town was laid out in the Buttermarket area. Ipswich was becoming a place of national and international importance.
After the invasion of 869 Ipswich fell under Viking rule. The earth ramparts circling the town centre were probably raised by Vikings in Ipswich around 900 to prevent its recapture by the English. They were unsuccessful. The town operated a mint under royal licence from King Edgar in the 970s, which continued through the Norman Conquest until the time of King John, in about 1215. The abbreviation Gipes appears on the coins. King John granted the town its first charter in 1200, laying the medieval foundations of its modern civil government. Thenceforth Ipswich strongly maintained its jurisdiction over the so-called Liberty, a region extending over about 35 square kilometres centred on the town.
Ipswich is home to many artists and has a number of galleries, the most prominent of which are at Christchurch Mansion, the Town Hall, in Ancient House and the Artists’ Gallery in Electric House. The visual arts are further supported with many sculptures at easily accessible sites. The Borough Council promotes the creation of new public works of art and has been known to make this a condition of planning permission. The town has three museums: Ipswich Museum, the Ipswich Transport Museum and Christchurch Mansion.
Spill Festival of Performance was launched in Ipswich in 2007 and alternates between London and Ipswich yearly. In 2018, Clarion Call is the signature installation in the Festival Installed at the historic town centre and waterfront in Ipswich, Clarion Call is a sonic intervention calls out to the setting sun in daily incantations, its voices reflecting contemporary Britain while exploring the local history of the World War One, using audio technology originally employed in war and emergencies, and the voices and songs of women and girls, to create a soundscape of immense scale.