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Ipswich, the county town of Suffolk and non-metropolitan district located 60 miles northeast of London. It lies at the mouth of the Orwell River with a population of around 133,384 according to 2011 census. The town derived its name either from Orwell estuary or an Anglo-Saxon personal name and it was also referred as Gippeswic, Yppswyche, and Gyppewicus. The town became famous in early times for its major port Ipswich Dock which has been England’s one of the major trading port. It was also considered UK’s one of the most prosperous city since Anglo-Saxon period.
Ipswich is one of the oldest inhabited towns in the England. The history of the town traced its roots back to the Roman period. The rural towns and settlements were connected to the area around the town via the rivers Gipping and Orwell during the Roman Empire. The largest Roman villa and fort were built during the Roman Empire and still stands at Castle Hill and Walton near Felixstowe respectively. The Sutton Hoo treasures and replicas of the Roman Mildenhall are still preserved in the museum of the town. The modern town has been continuously occupied around Ipswich dock since the Saxon period. After the abandonment of Roman period, the development of coastal states of north-western Europe came into existence. The former Roman ports of London served as major communication and trading port between eastern Britain and the continents of Scandinavia and Rhine.
The first large-scale potteries were established in the town with the arrival of Frisian potters from Netherlands in the 7th century. The Shrine of Our Lady of Grace of the town became a famous pilgrimage destination and attracted many pilgrims during the middle ages. The independent Ipswich Institute reading room and library were built in 1824 and still survives today. The town was targeted by German Zeppelins and bombing raids during the First and Second World War resulted in many casualties and destruction of the area in and around the docks. The town has undergone a considerable redevelopment around the waterfront and industrial dock area was rebuilt into the residential and commercial centre. Ipswich has made several attempts for attaining the city status but all the bids remain unsuccessful and it remains as a town.
The town has a number of galleries and three museums include Christchurch Mansion Ipswich Transport Museum, Ipswich Museum, Ancient House and Christchurch Mansion. New works of art are continuously promoted by the Borough Council. The New Wolsey Company took on the management of New Wolsey Theatre built on the Civic Drive accommodating 400 people. The summer arts festival is celebrated every year and known as Ipswich Arts Festival.
Ipswich is county town of agricultural Suffolk and home to famous agricultural manufacturers. Adastral Science Park is located to the east of the town, earlier the area was being used by the British Telecom Research Laboratories. The insurance business is the key employment sector and employs the majority of the workforce in the town. Other employers include Legal and General, Axa, LV, Churchill, and Willis. The experienced and skilled workforce has contributed to the establishment of the ancillary works in the past few years. Every year millions of tons of cargo are being handled in the famous port named as Haven port.
There are several state-funded secondary and independent schools in the town include Copleston and Northgate High Schools, Ipswich School, Ipswich High School and Ipswich Academy. Suffolk New College, University of Suffolk and Sixth Form College serves the residents of the town and neighbouring area.
List of famous residents includes Thomas Wolsey, Alf Ramsey, Sarah Trimmer, Bobby Robson, Richard Ayoade and Thomas Gainsborough.
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