PARKINGTON, Thomas Robert Pearl

1866 - 1942

Born at Ipswich on 22 November 1866, son of Thomas Blake Pearl Parkington (1833-1919), builder, and his wife Frances Sophia née Bradlaugh (1840-1909). A substantial Ipswich builder he married at Leicester in 1896, Florence Ellen Barratt [Parkington q.v.] and in 1911 a 44 year old building contractor, living at 1 Bolton Lane, Ipswich with his 40 year old wife Florence. An honorary member of the Ipswich Art Club 1929-1941 but does not seem to have exhibited, also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts but his major claim to fame would be his owner of the Flatford Mill and Willy Lott's House estate. In 1926 Thomas, an Ipswich builder and philanthropist, purchased a near derelict Flatford Mill and a dilapidated Willy Lott’s House, carried out basic repairs and opened the Flatford Mill as an arts and leisure centre. In the early 1930s he stripped out all the mill machinery and had the iron water wheel removed. In his will, he left both properties to the National Trust but died insolvent in 1943 which meant the National Trust had to purchase them from the Official Receiver. However, when Mr Parkingtons's financial affairs were finally resolved, there was money left over to reimburse the National Trust. The Mill has been leased to the Field Studies Council for courses since 1946. In 1939 Thomas was a building contractor living at 7 Northgate Street, Ipswich with his wife Florence [q.v.] and where died on 22 June 1942, he had no children.