Foxhall Waddling Duck
Foxhall Waddling Duck
Closed: approximately 1844 though possibly later
Hall Rd aka Waddling Duck Ln
grid reference TM 232 432
At one time this beer house was owned by John Cobbold, a member of the Ipswich brewing family, who also had an estate in Foxhall which included 23 acres of hops. A field in Foxhall is still known as the "hop grounds" the probable site of these gardens. These hops may also have been used at the Waddling Duck.
William Brown is listed in the 1844 White's Directory and reputedly the beer house closed soon after.
However, an unnamed beer house is also shown at this location on OS maps and in later trade directories and census returns from about 1869 until the end of the 19th century. So either the later premises was located nearby or used the same premises later in Victorian era - see Beer house for more details.
It was flanked by a belt of trees and had a large back garden at the end of which once stood a cottage. Behind the beer house was the landlords house and both had separate entrances. The beer house had two chimneys, one served the copper where the beer was brewed and the other a large brick oven.
The building has since been demolished; a modern house stands behind where the pub had been.
Reputedly in about 1844** the Waddling Duck attracted a lot of people because it was outside the 3 mile limit of Ipswich (in those days if you wanted refreshment and lived over 3 miles away from the pub you could be served at any time for up to 20 minutes i.e. outside normal beer house opening hours 5am until 12 midnight). It also attracted undesirables and was often raided by the police who prosecuted abusers of these drinking laws. Reputedly trade was very brisk on Sundays, with most drinkers gathering across the road (by law they were not allowed to drink their refreshments on the premises) and took to sitting on the bank and making ribald remarks about people who happened to pass. …
** Note: William Brown is listed in the 1844 White's Directory. A Walter T Cobbold (gent) is also recorded locally in 1844, whilst Captain Earnest George Prettyman MP was the principal landowner in the area by 1900 (living at Orwell park) if there is any confusion over dates or names related to this interesting tale
(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)
Old OS map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.