Cornhill - A New Chapter

The completion date for the new Cornhill is fast approaching, and the new square is really taking shape. Much of the paving is now laid - both granite pavers and green granite blocks. The stone benches are now in place and the trees will soon be arriving. The water feature is being tested, and we await the delivery of the stone arches. 

The Cornhill has been the centre of town life for hundreds of years; the earliest known map of Ipswich dates from 1610 and clearly shows an open rectangular space. The Cornhill became a centre of commerce in medieval times, with corn being traded as well as livestock. After centuries of corn trading, a Corn Exchange was built on the site of the old post office in 1812, to be replaced by the existing Corn Exchange in 1882. There was a grisly side to 16th century Cornhill though: it was the site of regular bull baiting and martyr-burning [1515-1558].  By 1800, the Cornhill was a bustling and probably very congested space, and in 1868 the Venetian style Town Hall was built and became the seat for justice and local government until the 1960s. 

The Christmas Light Switch On (22nd November 6.45pm) will formally mark the opening of the new Cornhill; a celebration of what has been achieved and looking forward to both Christmas and beyond. A real tree will again be in situ on the square, and the bauble tree will be situated outside the University Building. On 23rd November a time capsule will be buried on the square to be opened at some point in the distant future.

The Cornhill will play host to a Christmas Craft Market between 10th - 23rd December. The market is being delivered by Eden Crafts and will be housed in a heated marquee.

Looking forward into the New Year, all the Vision partners are committed to working together to deliver a coordinated and varied programme of events on the Cornhill. The Cornhill continues to be a significant part of Ipswich’s life, and we look forward to this next exciting chapter.

For more information regarding the history of the Cornhill visit