Photo of Margaret Catchpole

grid reference TM 176 432

opened 1930s

owner Admiral Taverns

(details under review)

Registered Asset of Community ValueSomething we've got wrong about this establishment? Something more you think we should know about it? Please email us
pub is on the regional inventory

listed building grade II*

Local licensing authority for Ipswich is Ipswich Borough Council

CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.

last updated 31/12/2019

Ipswich Margaret Catchpole

Real Ale sold

Real Ale is available here

Cliff Ln, IP3 0PQ

01473 252450

Overview | Gallery | Historical info | Public transport | Map

Named after a famous local adventuress, chronicler and criminal, this large three bar pub stands close to Holywells Park. The main bar is large room with music, TV and games (including pool) whilst there is a quieter lounge and another curved room to the rear which may now only be used occasionally. The building also retains many original features and is listed on CAMRA's National Inventory of classic pub interiors and is a grade 2* listed building.

Beer served through handpulls Beer served through handpulls

Lunchtime meals (not just snacks) Lunchtime meals (not just snacks)

Evening meals Evening meals

Separate public bar Separate public bar

Traditional pub games available Traditional pub games available

Bus stop Bus stop nearby (see public transport tab for details)

station 0.8 mile away Railway station about 0.8 mile away (see public transport tab for details)

parking parking

Beer garden or other outside drinking area Beer garden or other outside drinking area

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


Margaret Catchpole was born at Nacton, Suffolk, and fell in love with a sailor named William Laud, who had joined a band of smugglers. After a shooting a price was put on his Laud's head. Catchpole later worked as a servant for Mrs John Cobbold, wife of the Ipswich brewer, as under-nurse and under-cook by May 1793. In mid-1795 Catchpole left the Cobbolds and was unemployed. After being told that Laud was in London, she stole John Cobbold's coach gelding horse and rode it 70 miles (110 km) to London in 9 hours, but was promptly arrested for the theft and tried at Suffolk Summer Assizes. She pleaded guilty at her trial, but despite evidence regarding her previous good character, was sentenced to death. Her sentence was later commuted to transportation for 7years.

Initially a model priosoner, she met up with Laud again in prison and planned an escape with him. Laud fired upon the authorities during the escape and was killed. Catchpole was taken back to prison and again condemned to death. This sentence was also commuted to transportation to New South Wales for life. She arrived in Sydney on the Nile on 15 December 1801 and served 7 years of her sentence before having a pardon. She continued to live in Australia and died on 13 May 1819 after catching influenza from a shepherd she was nursing, and was buried at Richmond, New South Wales. In 1841 the Rev. Richard Cobbold (son of her former employers) made Catchpole the subject of a novel, "The History of Margaret Catchpole" (London, 1845), which has often been reprinted since.