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Old Foundry Road, to the rear of this building, is named after the iron works established there by Robert Ransome, in 1789. During the 19th century, Ransome's business was expanded by his sons and grandsons, exporting agricultural machinery around the world. The famous firm later manufactured steam engines and built the first railway in China.
These premises are part of the Tower Ramparts area of Ipswich, named after the ancient bank and ditch built for the northern boundary of the town. Nothing now remains of the bank or nearby North Gate. Thomas Wolsey was the second most powerful man in Tudor England, after King Henry VIII. The son of an Ipswich tavern-keeper, Wolsey became a cardinal, then Lord Chancellor and, finally, Archbishop of Canterbury. After his swift fall from grace in 1530, the college which he'd planned for his native town was never completed. All that remains is the gateway in College Street. A plaque at 21 Tavern Street marks the family home of the author a
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