Wherstead Oyster Reach
Wherstead Oyster Reach
North West, 52.03305,1.15007
This is a restaurant, so it's possible that drinks are only available here to diners. Please check before visiting.
Bourne Hill, IP2 8ND
grid reference TM 161 418
motel, opened 1612
owner/operator: Whitbread / Beefeater (Whitbread)
The small pub area is these days dwarfed by the steak-grill and motel. This helped to transform the business and today the remaining bar area is more popular with diners. In 2017 all "Oyster Reach" signage was removed and the whole operation apparently re-branded "Beefeater" (though according to its website, it's still the Oyster Reach), though it still retains the bar with two hand-pumps.
For a long while this was a popular, small, late drinking venue just outside Ipswich town borough (when Ipswich pubs still closed at 10.30pm).
The Oyster Reach name only dates from 1995, as a reference to the historic oyster beds on that part of the Orwell.
Nearest railway station
The pub is shown on this old OS map from about 1902 (interactive map)
According to Leonard P Thompsons book "Inns of the Suffolk coast", this inn stands on land that was once part of the Manor of Bourne hall. Land acquired in 1609 by the great lawyer and Chief Justice, Sir Edward Coke. He also bought Wherstead hall in 1600. Reputedly the new inn soon became known as the Ostrich because the Coke family crest included an ostrich, not because of local oyster beds. We do not know if it ever displayed the Coke family crest in full, but the Ostrich depicted in some early pictures of the pub is similar to the one on the family crest.
The oldest part of the pub (adjacent to Bourne Hill) still dates from the early 17th century, though it has been much altered and added to…
Oyster beds were once quite common along the river estuary and a popular local food - whilst the earlier name could be a reference to the coat of arms of Sir Edmund Coke (1552-1633) an eminent Elizabeathan lawyer and former speaker in the House of Commons and local land-owner.
(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)
(some old PO directory information courtesy of londonpublichouse.com)
(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)
(*** historic book information from Bob Mitchell)