Shoreborne Wilson built a small house and a cooper’s shop on this site about 1660, which is said to be the rear ell of the present house. Thomas Dennis (1638-1706) and his wife Grace bought the property from William Searle three years later. The 1685 deed for an abutting lot refers to the “new dwelling house” of Thomas Dennis but it is unclear if this referred to Thomas Dennis Sr. or his son Thomas. The front of the house has the symetrical layout of the Georgian era, but the left side appears to be a later extension. The sign on the front shows the date 1663 for the year when Thomas Dennis bought the property, and 1706 for the year he died. Thomas Franklin Waters wrote that “the age of the present house is unknown.
Thomas Dennis was a master carver, and in the first decades of the 20th Century, his furniture achieved legendary status. He apprenticed in Devonshire, England with Grace Dennis’ first husband, William Searle. Chests & cabinetry by Thomas Dennis with their extraordinary scrolled carvings are displayed at the Ipswich Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Concord Antiquarian Society and the Robert Hull Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont.
The gravestones of Thomas Dennis, his wife Grace and their son Thomas are near the top of the asphalt path at the Old North Burying Ground.
The Thomas Dennis house is a private residence. Read more at the Historic Ipswich site.
4 thoughts on “The Thomas Dennis house, 7 County St. (1663-1706?)”
There’s a memorial for Prudence Fish at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester on April 8th (Saturday) at 11:00 AM.
I love his iconic chest!
Just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying your features on the early homes in Ipswich. I visited Ipswich a number of years ago and enjoyed walking around and looking at the early architecture.