Planet Ipswich : A bridge between the Ipswiches of the world

Lake Ipswich, Suffolk Meadows, City of Suffolk, Virginia, USA

Located at 36° 8’ N  76° 6’ W to the north of the Nansemond Parkway and west of the Commonwealth Railroad and County Road 626 (also known as Shoulders Hill Road) in the housing development of Suffolk Meadows. 

How to get there:-

By Road: From the City of Suffolk, take State Route 642/Wilroy Road northeastwards, before turning onto State Highway 337/Nansemond Parkway. After about 5 miles, turn left onto Suffolk Meadows Boulevard.

From Portsmouth & the east, take State Highway 337/Portsmouth Boulevard westwards, before turning right into Suffolk Meadows Boulevard.

By Rail: A passenger rail service is provided by Amtrak from Newport News to Suffolk.

The nearest international airports are Norfolk International & Newport News/Williamsburg International.

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5 hrs).  Daylight saving time in summer + 1 hr.


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History & Derivation of Name




History & Derivation of Name

Lake Ipswich is a man-made lake resulting from earth removal that was used for the Nansemond Parkway intersection in the 1980s and embankments to the railroad built in 1989 (the technical term is a “borrow pit”). It was developed as a recreational facility for the community of Suffolk Meadows situated in the rural countryside of the City of Suffolk.  The lake is located between two headwaters of the Quaker Neck Creek which is itself a headwater of Bennett’s Creek, a 7.3 mile (11.7 km) long tributary of the Nansemond River.  To the north of the lake is a small retention pond built three feet above the surface of the lake to alleviate flooding from the two headwaters by allowing run-off into Lake Ipswich.

In 1997 two property developers, John W Iuliano III and Emil A Wiola, acquired the farmland and woods and over the next six years built a 240 dwelling community called Suffolk Meadows.  Situated in the City of Suffolk, the name adopted for this community is self-explanatory.  The name given to the lake reflects the association of Ipswich, the county town of the historic county in England, with the name Suffolk. 

The residents formed a homeowners’ association which took over responsibility for the community and the lake.  Although the depth and underwater contours are undetermined, the Department of Mines and Minerals of the City of Suffolk has assured that the borrow pit was returned to “an acceptable state” by the developer, and that there is a natural outflow and discharge to the streams either side of the lake 13 feet down.

There is no public access to the lake.  Fishing is allowed from the lake sidelines for residents and friends, but not from a boat.  Entering the lake (for swimming) is prohibited.

For details of the City of Suffolk & Suffolk Meadows, see the Suffolk, Virginia page on Planet Ipswichs sister site

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