Cobbold beer was first brewed by Thomas Cobbold (1680-1752), who founded a brewery in Harwich in 1723. He was a maltster and produced his own malt from East Anglian barley. Before long, he realised that the quality of his beer was compromised by the brackish water of Harwich. The family owned some land at Holy Wells, Ipswich, well known for its natural springs which trickle into a cascade of man-made pools. Thomas made the excellent decision to move the brewery to his newly purchased land adjacent to the springs and to replace the unpalatable water of Harwich with the clear spring water of Holy Wells.
Gainsborough beautifully depicted the estate and pools in his only landscape of Ipswich.