Photo of Anchor

grid reference TM 219 399

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CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.

last updated 25/01/2020

Nacton Anchor

historical closure era: Victorian / Edwardian

closed about 1892

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The Anchor is said to have closed down during World War One, supposedly by order of a local landowner and MP, Mr Tomline.

According to local legend, his wife was accosted by a group of somewhat happy members of the soldiery while riding her horse and invited in for a drink. Being of good character, she declined, but her husband was less happy and decided the place should be closed. As a result he was on occasion greeted in parliament with the opposition cry of "Who closed the Nacton Anchor then?"

However, the "during Word War One" claim seems to be contradicted by the 1904 OS map which shows "Club House" where earlier maps showed the Anchor, suggesting it had already closed by then. By 1926 the building was shown on the map as "The Moorings". The "Anchor House" name appears to have arrived between 1938 and 1958. In addition, the pub is not mentioned in the 1909 Rates book. Perhaps the war concerned was actually the Boer War?

It seems that the "Mr Tomlin" in the story isn't the same person as George Tomline (who had the Ipswich-Felixstowe railway line built and lived at Orwell Park), as he wasn't married. More digging is needed to get to the bottom of this story, which may well just be apocryphal.

The Anchor can be seen here on the 1881 OS map.

old OS map

(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)