Ipswich Hippodrome-Woodbridge Road

Confusingly there were two Hippodromes situated in Ipswich at the same time, this article details the history of the Hippodrome on Woodbridge Road which opened in 1904. The slightly later Hippodrome Theatre situated on St. Nicholas Street opened in 1905.

The Woodbridge Road Hippodrome was a music hall which opened on Monday the 5th of September 1904 and was a reconstruction of the former Tudor’s Circus Building which was situated in the Mullbery Tree Meadow, Woodbridge Road. Tudor’s Circus had first opened in the early 1890s and was later renamed the Woodbridge Road Hippodrome, sometimes referred to as Tudor’s Hippodrome, in September 1903.

The auction notice for the Woodbridge Road Hippodrome / Tudor’s Circus fixtures and fittings – From the East Anglian Daily Times, Monday the 20th of September 1909.The Music Hall and Theatre Review reported on the opening of the Woodbridge Road Hippodrome in their September 9th 1904 edition saying:- ‘For a good many years Ipswich, with a population of 65,000, has quite taken a back seat in the way of amusements, having to depend solely on the theatre, with an occasional concert at the Public Hall, for their entertainment.

Now Mr. T. M. Sylvester (late of Barnum and Bailey’s), of the Coventry Hippodrome, has made a move. Having acquired the three or four months’ unexpired lease of Tudor Circus on Woodbridge Road, he set to work and had it fitted up in a most elaborate style, and opened it on Monday night. There were two big houses.’

The Woodbridge Road Hippodrome carried on for a number of years but the St.Nicholas Street Hippodrome seems to have been too stiff a competition for the old Hippodrome. It was eventually closed down and its fittings and fixtures were auctioned off in September 1909.


opposite 21 St Margaret’s St.
Ipswich IP4 2AT

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