The Monday Market

Hop Bag Hotel

The Hop Bag Hotel was built in 1703 and faces the Monday Market square. It has three storeys and thirty rooms, is brick built, with large rectagular windows with leaded glass panes.
A large square arch to the right of the main portico entrance leads into a cobbled stable yard.
The stable block was converted into rooms in the 1870's after the contruction of the railway station to cope with the extra guests; and the end of stage coach traffic. The front is coated in red ivy and Grade II listed, being one of the finest examples of a Queen Anne-style hotel in Suffolk. A wide staircase with exquisitely carved oak banisters sweeps up from the entrance lobby to the first floor.
Charles Dickens stayed there and gave readings on several occasions. The rooms are all en-suit and have been recently modified. The from rooms on the ground floor contain a bar and restaurant. There is a cavery on Sunday lunch times.

The cellars are reputed to be haunted by a serving maid who fell down the cellar stairs whilst refusing the advances of the hotel's landlord, sometime in the 18th century. The ghost of the notorious gambler, Lord Rupert de Lansigny, can be heard pacing the floor of Room 28 and is occasionally glimpsed leaning over the sleeping occupants of the room. He gambled his way through his inheritance of 10,000, finally losing the family estate on one fateful night at the Hop Bag. He retired to his room and shot himself; sounds of drunken revelry issuing from Room 20 are also associated with this incident. The faint smell of fresh hay has been known to waft about in the five rooms in the converted stables. One night an occupant in Room 32 awoke to see a horse and groom pass right through the wall of their room!

Victorian Shopping Arcade

Next the the Hop Bag Hotel in the north east corner of the Monday Market square is a row of Victorian shops in an ornate glass and cast iron arcade.

They were built in the 1860's on the site of a medieval row of almshouses and the old building forms the foundations of the shops. The medieval stonework can still be seen in the basements. The shop frontage incoporates a large amount of ornate wrought iron work and the stained glass, diamond-paned windows show the influence of the Oxford Movement. There are large glass and wrought iron sun blinds overhanging the shop fronts, which is particularly worthy of note. Inside the shops don't seem to have changed much since the early 20th century; the sweet shop has shelves stacked hagh with glass jars and the book shop has creeking, ceiling-high shelves filled with dusty old books. The Chemist's has old glass vials and bell jars displayed in the window.

All three shops have well worn wooden front desks, complete with peeling black paint. None can fit more than about half a dozen people in at a time. The back door opens into the new Quayside development.