All eyes on Ipswich’s heritage

St Mary at the Quay will be turned into a wellbeing heritage centre
Ipswich’s much-loved Holywells Park is reopening so it’s a perfect time to celebrate the town’s heritage.

Over the past two decades more than £16million has been invested into amazing heritage projects in Ipswich, thanks to funding from the National Lottery.

Amanda Bond from Visit Suffolk said: “Heritage is an intrinsic part of the tourism experience for any destination and its ability to influence potential visits. With its claims as the first town of the ‘Angles’, as well as boasting a number of listed buildings, Ipswich is fortunate in that it has a rich historic tapestry dating back to 500AD.”

Here are just a few:

Keeping Constable

Ipswich is now the home of two more of Suffolk-born John Constable’s paintings. His A Lime Kiln industrial scene is on display at Christchurch Mansion and Ipswich Museum is one of just five sites chosen to host his renowned Salisbury Cathedral painting.

Nature spies

Young people in the town are getting closer to nature thanks to an initiative from Suffolk Wildlife Trust including bioblitzes, wildlife workshops and a van kitted out with everything from bug boxes to bat detectors.

Transforming places

A number of Ipswich’s museums and historic buildings have been, or are being, transformed to bring them back into the heart of the community. Ipswich Transport Museum has received funding to improve its space and collections, work is underway to create a wellbeing heritage centre at St Mary at the Quay and Gippeswyk Hall received funding to add a new theatre and performance space at the Tudor building.

Enriching archives

Other projects have boosted the town’s archives and seen brand-new collections formed. The glory days of Hudd Music Hall can be relived thanks to an archive of music hall texts, scores and memorabilia of actor, comedian and historian Roy Hudd, which is now available online. Ipswich Town Football Club also had its turn in the spotlight as a collection of artefacts, trophies and memorabilia were collected to reflect its history and the lasting support of its fans.

Finding treasure

These projects focus on treasured heritage but some involve actual treasure! A huge hoard of Iron Age coins were discovered nearby and, after being declared of national significance, they were bought for Ipswich Museum for future generations to enjoy.

These could not have been funded without money raised through the National Lottery, so thank you!

Back to top of page