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Photo of Blue Coat Boy

grid reference TM 163 443

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listed building grade II

CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.

last updated 25/09/2018

Ipswich Blue Coat Boy

historical era: late 20th century

closed 1988

38 Old Cattle Market

Overview | Gallery | Historical info | Public transport | Map

Built in 1620 and much extended in the 18th and 20th centuries, this Grade 2 listed building is now used as shops. For some years in the early 21st century part of it was used by Sin nightclub, which closed in July 2016.

Reputedly very popular with US servicemen during the Second World War (the US military still adhered to strict Jim Crow segregation, so only black servicemen were allowed in, with white ones using other local pubs).

One notable regular while the pub was popular with black American servicemen was Geno Washington, whose records were popular on the Northern Soul scene.

It was also very popular on market days when the nearby cattle market (now used as the bus station) was still in use.

The pub is shown (though not named) on this old OS map from about the end of the 19th century. larger map

old OS map

(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)

Old OS map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.


A "blue coat boy" was a general term for a scholar at a charity school. The Cardinal College of St Mary in Ipswich was a college "school" founded by Cardinal Wolsey and linked to what eventually became Christ Church at Oxford. This school was built and flourished very briefly (1528-30) but soon fell with its founder. Henry VIII subsequently ordered these school buildings to be dismantled - except the chapel and the watergate - for their materials to be used elswhere. Another Blue Coast school was later built in the Wherstead Rd/Vernon St junction area close to the St Peter's workhouse and can be seen on Victorian maps of this area.