Kesgrave is a small town situated on the Eastern edge of Ipswich, Suffolk. It has a population of just over 14,000 people and is predominately a residential area.
The Kesgrave sign was designed by the late Alfred Ribbans of Rushmere St. Andrew and depicts one of the fine cedar trees that are a notable feature of the churchyard.
The sign was presented to Kesgrave by the Kesgrave Women's Institute in 1966, to commemorate the Institute's Golden Jubilee, and now stands at the junction of Bell Lane and Church Close by The Walk.
A Brief History of Kesgrave
The origin of the name "Kesgrave" is uncertain. The name appears in the Domesday Book as Gressegraua, which probably derives from the Old English words meaning grass or crest and grove or grave but there are other possible interpretations. During the Saxon/Danish era, when Ipswich and Woodbridge were still small towns, the road linking them developed across the wild heathland. The small settlement established half way was Gressland or Kesgrave.
The Domesday survey (1096) indicates that there was a church at that time and it is likely that a place of Christian worship stood there in Saxon times. For over 700 years Kesgrave remained a small agricultural community with a church, and inn and a few farmsteads. In 1921 the population was only 103 housed in 20 dwellings. Since then great changes have taken place.
By 1988 Kesgrave covered an area of more than 800 hundred acres, about half of this being residential with an estimated population of almost 5,000 in over 2,000 dwellings mostly bungalows. The remainder was private woodland and agricultural land. The fastest expansion the area has seen started in 1988 when the current development on the site of the 378 acre farmland previously known as Grange Farm began. When completed the total housing will be over 5,000 with a population of 13,000 making Kesgrave larger than Woodbridge and Melton combined. Careful planning has taken into account the needs of both new and established areas of the community. A primary school for 220 pupils opened in September 2001 and can be expanded to 440 when necessary. Additional shopping facilities and other services are already in evidence. Kesgrave benefits from the community centre with sporting facilities, the Council Office, a medical centre, a day nursery, a scout hall and Super route 66 with its special buses using the link.
To mark the millennium Kesgrave was declared a Town on 1 January 2000.