College Gateway Bookshop, 3-5 Silent Street, Ipswich, IP1 1TF

Grade II* mediaeval guest house in the tourist heart of Ipswich, [see Chambers, English Country Bookshops, ABA, 2010. frontispiece above]. Four storeys including cellar, seven rooms on two floors of general & antiquarian stock, and a newly restored attic (full of 15thC oak) which would make an excellent gallery/exhibition space. One of the most photographed buildings in Ipswich, I would dearly love it to buck the trend & remain a bookshop. £250,000 will buy the freehold & business & nearly 70 years of book-selling heritage. Stock at valuation at purchaser’s discretion [under £5 free, £5-50 at 50%, remainder at 60% of marked price]. Despite its large (albeit rambling) area, Business Rates are currently under £3000 pa which this year was reduced to just £45.75 by Small Business Relief. [The corner shop next door is c75% smaller but pays nearer £5,000!] No.7 Silent St. next door (right of picture), a 3-storey town house with two large ground floor, three first floor and splendid top floor attic rooms, full of interesting period features (as they say) is also available at £220,000. Contact

Named after the Tudor brick gateway, all that remains of the college founded in Ipswich by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, whose c1473 birth nearby is commemorated by a large statue across Silent St. from the shop. College Gateway Bookshop was opened by Tom Cook in 1944 in the late 15thC. guest house built by Robert Curson to accommodate the less prestigious visitors to his palace across the street (long since demolished). For many years the fulcrum of the East Anglian bookselling triumvirate with Tony Doncaster in Colchester and David Ferrow in Yarmouth, Tom was forced to retire in 1982 and after 30 years I will now concentrate on our catalogue & online business based at White House Farm, Kelsale, whither visitors will be welcome by appointment.

But it would be good if College Gateway Bookshop could continue under new ownership - any offers?

Tony Cox    

The accommodation comprises:

Ground Floor:
Entrance Room: 18’ x 10’6” with 405 feet of shelving
through rear door to
History & Biography Room: 10’ x 5’6” max. - 162’ shelving
through archway to
Main Room: 18’ x 10’ - 313’ shelving
through doorway to
Passage-way with alcove: 23’ x 3’ - 167’ shelving
through rear door to
Office: 10’ x 11’ - 156’ shelving.

Upstairs to:
Gallery: 16’ x 2’6” – 108’ shelving
Corridor: 19’ x 3’9” – 165’ shelving
through doorway to
Dragon Room: 12’ x 15’ max. – 201’ shelving
through door to
Main Book Room: 19’ x 17’ – 323’ shelving

Upstairs to:
Attic Gallery Room: 20’ x 19’ max.

Cellar: 18’ x 9’.

Business Rates
Rateable value £6100
Charge for year 2012-13: £2745.00
Less Small Business Relief £2699.25
Payable for year 2012/13 £ 45.75


Larger area plan