Walking tours of historic Ipswich


The historic neighborhoods of Meeting House Green, High Street, the East End, and the South Green offer well-preserved streetscapes of 17th to 20th century homes. Walking tours of historic Ipswich are led on Sunday afternoons in late summer and earlyfall by Town Historian Gordon Harris, who tells the stories of the town’s historic houses and the people who lived in the them.  Distance: This tour is approximately 1.7 miles and is designed for active persons who can walk up to two hours at a fairly brisk pace. Start Location: In front of the Ipswich Public Library, 25 N Main St, Ipswich, MA 01938. View at Google Maps

Regularly scheduled tours have ended for 2018. To schedule a group tour email Gordon Harris at historicipswich@gmail.com.

Historic Districts

Special group tours of each of the four oldest historic districts in Ipswich are available. Send an email to Gordon Harris at historicipswich@gmail.com. Private group tours are $100 and can be arranged by special request.

East End Historic District 

East Street, north side

Description: John Winthrop Jr. led an expedition in 1633 to establish the settlement of Ipswich in the area that stretches from the Town Wharf to Meeting House Green. The East End includes Turkey Shore, Water Street, East Street, County Street and Summer Street.

South Green Historic District

the South Green

Description: 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. The tour includes South Main Street, the South Green, the Old South Cemetery and County Rd.

Meetinghouse Green Historic District

Richard Rogers house, North Main Street

DescriptionMeetinghouse Green on Town Hill was the governmental center for Puritan Ipswich. North Main Street is lined with elegant homes built by the leaders of the town over the past three centuries. Summer Street is the ancient “Way to the Meeting House.”

High Street Historic District

High Street has the greatest concentration of First Period homes in America

Description: High Street has the largest concentration of “First Period” houses in America (built before 1720). The tour visits the Old Burying Ground on High Street near Lords Square.

Self-guided tours

A comprehensive self-guided tour can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF document.

Some scenes from the tour:

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5 replies »

  1. My mom’s family has been in Ipswich and Rowley since the Great Migration and we lived there back in the early 70s. I need to head up that way and take this tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is one of the best walking tours I’ve been on. Gordon’s knowledge of the history of Ipswich allowed us to understand the daily life of Ipswich resdents from the time the town was established through the Revolutionary War and beyond. We learned things the history books omit. It is worth your time to take this tour!

    Liked by 1 person

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