From the mural, the tour continues to the South Green. The Sidney Shurcliff Riverwalk takes you to Water Street, Summer Street and County street, full of First Period Homes. It continues on East Street, to High Street, and then returns to North Main and Meeting House Green, the historic center of Ipswich. After crossing the Choate Bridge you’re back at the start location.
A comprehensive self-guided tour is offered as a free resource, which you can view online or download as a PDF document.
- View the comprehensive 4-mile Historic Ipswich tour online
- Download/Print the complete tour as a PDF document (3 mb)
Maps and descriptions below are provided by Gordon Harris for self-guided tours.
Walking Tours by Historic District
The contiguous historic neighborhoods of Meeting House Green, High Street, the East End, and the South Green offer well-preserved streetscapes of 17th to 19th century private residences.
John Winthrop Jr led an expedition in 1633 to establish the settlement of Ipswich. The first houses were “wigwams, huts, and hovels” built near what is now the Town Wharf in the East End area of town.
The South Green was originally known as School House Green. Many of the most important early settlers received grants of land here, and for two centuries the South Green served as a military training ground.
Meetinghouse Green on Town Hill was the governmental center for Puritan Ipswich. Dwellings had to be within one half mile of the Meeting House. North Main Street is lined with elegant homes built by the leaders of the town over.
- View an interactive map of Meetinghouse Green and North Main Street.
- Description of meetinghouse Green
High Street has the largest concentration of “First Period” houses in America (built before 1720). Many of the well-preserved 17th, 18th, and 19th Century houses along High Street served as taverns, stores, or craftsman’s shops. The Old Burying Ground is on High Street near Lords Square.
Some scenes from the tour: