Ipswich Coach & Horses
Ipswich Coach & Horses
Closed: after 1977
opened 1729 or earlier
41 Upper Brook St
grid reference TM 164 444
The hotel is shown on this OS town plan from about 1880 (larger map).
An inn since about 1729.
The Coach & Horses was listed by 1855 as a posting house and in 1874 as a "Commercial and Family Hotel and posting house". It was a staging post for the "Old Blue", a coach which ran from Gracechurch Street in London and onwards to Saxmundham and Beccles. The booking office and stables were to rear.
Now shops, the building dates from the 17th or 18th century. It was originally built as a merchant's house. Evidently it was a cyclist-friendly hotel; a prominent Cyclists' Touring Club plaque can still be seen on the wall.
In its latter years it had a reputation as a very rough pub, with fights occurring on a regular basis…
To be lett at Michaelmas next, a very good accustomed Inn, known by the name of the Coach and Horses in Brook-street with Stables, Hay-Chambers, Corn-Chambers and a convenient Yard, late in the occupation of Mr Samuel Debnam, deceased. Enquire of widow DebnamIpswich Journal, August 9th 1729***
Ref to Mr Thomas Crawley at the Coach-and-Horses in Brook-street, Ipswich (and again in May 1735)Ipswich Journal, March 10th 1733***
Thomas Crawley selling fine old Brandy and Jamaican Rum at seven shillings and sixpence a Gallon, at the Coach and Horses, Brook St, Ipswich
Not sure if this is relevant but a reference in the Ipswich Journal*** on September 1st 1739 to Mr John Ellis at the Coach-House, Ipswich?? - also linked to the Crown at Woodbridge & White Hart at Wickham.…
Coach & horses became a means of transport for many travellers during the 17th and 18th cent. especially for those who could not afford their own vehicle. As regular services evolved, they soon encouraged many inns enroute to become natural stopping points for refreshments - with journeys broken into stages (about 8 miles) - and many eventually provided stabling to enable regular changes of horses. Their demise started in 1840s with the building of the railway network.
(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)
(information from Dudley Diaper)
(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)
(*** historic newspaper information from Bob Mitchell)
Old OS map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.