Occasional Papers

We have an ever-expanding pool of research concerning Ipswich and Suffolk’s maritime history and wider local maritime heritage. Several of our members, volunteers and supporters have created fantastic research articles that we have turned into Occasional Papers. Their aim is to be informative insights into topics that may not be readily available elsewhere. We have printed copies available at public events such as Heritage Open Days, to publicise our research and we have also made them freely available to download below.

All of the our past Occasional Papers have now been reviewed and updated and a new paper added. Papers Nos 1-4 are freely available to download.  We hope that our future Window Museum displays may inspire new ones to be written too. If you are interested in contributing to our research, then please get in contact with us.


This Paper was first produced in 2011, primarily to encourage those responsible for the Wet Dock area to re-instate previously commonly used names around the Waterfront.  New research has now been added to this Paper, and the Ipswich Borough Council is currently planning to act on some of the our recommendations.

Originally written in 2011 under a different title, this Paper has been expanded as new images have become available. It is designed to be used by those wishing to relate today’s Waterfront scene to how it appeared in past centuries.

First produced as a guide to the then newly created online Image Archive, the aim of the Paper was to encourage everyone to make use of the Archive as a public resource, and to help us add to its value with any new information. This newly revised Paper has the same role, and describes the opportunity for Ipswich Maritime Trust members and supporters to become involved in the future development of the Image Archive.

Rope is an essential requirement, both on land and water. Cordage in all its forms has been made for thousands of years. It can be considered to be one of the building blocks of civilization. For hundreds of years Ipswich ropemakers have supplied the needs of ships, industry and agriculture. Ropemakers were frequently associated with sail-making and sack-making, sometimes carrying out both of these trades. This Paper covers the earliest evidence of the trade in Ipswich until its decline at the end of the 19th Century.

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