MANY PASSERSBY ON IPSWICH’S EAGLE Street are unaware of the beast that surveys them. With wide, unsettling eyes and ivory fangs bared, the Ogre of Eagle Street keeps watch from above the door of a 17th-century house.
At first, this decorative demon seems like little more than an unusual ornamentation, but legend grants it a far greater purpose. The land upon which Eagle Street now occupies was once, so the story goes, a godforsaken bog. This forbidding stretch of mire was populated only by an awful ogre. Despite its unappealing land, and even less appealing inhabitant, the people of Ipswich wanted to expand their town further, infringing the swamp, and inching towards the ogre’s house.
At night, the ogre would enter the encroaching homes and destroy them. Eventually tiring of his nightly mayhem, the ogre agreed to share his land with the townsfolk’s buildings. This agreement, however, was on one condition. The ogre insisted his likeness be included, as a reminder of whose land it stood on, stating: “If ever you take my image down I will come and take the whole street down, in one night!”
Know Before You Go
The ogre is free for all to see. Just be sure to look up to spot its ghoulish gaze.