We’ve had premises in Ipswich town centre since we were formed in 1849, as the Ipswich and Suffolk Freehold Land Society. In more recent years, we’ve been located in Upper Brook Street (1915-2009) and also Sailmakers Shopping Centre (formerly Tower Ramparts) from 1990 to the present day.
In late 2016 we purchased a property in Princes Street, the former Parr’s Bank, which is a Grade II listed building dating back to 1901. Renaming it Mutual House, this will be become our flagship branch; a place centred on the needs of our members, with accessible, comfortable facilities and the flexible space we need to host our popular member events and special occasions.
The building was originally two separate units, with Parr’s Bank located at the corner of Princes Street and King Street. Next to Parr’s Bank on Princes Street stood Alfred Stearn and Son, an ironmongery. Interestingly, the former ironmongery part of the building – where our counter service will be located – is not protected under the Grade II listing.
The architect for Parr’s Bank was Thomas W Cotman, nephew of the famous watercolourist John Sell Cotman. To read more about the building, visit the Ipswich Lettering website.
Work on the building is being done with special care and attention. Since we’ve been on site, we have discovered many special features which had been covered up – such as an external, etched, Parr’s Bank decal and a beautiful original ceiling. We’re preserving these features and painstakingly restoring the ceiling, which, once we open, will be on display for all to see.