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Heritage Open Days

The weekend of September 10th and 11th will again see The Ipswich Society organising the hugely popular Heritage Open Days.

This is now a European event, co-ordinated in Great Britain by civic societies and English Heritage to enable the public to visit buildings of architectural and historic interest, which are not usually accessible.

Twenty Eight buildings in and around Ipswich will be open, many of them hidden gems of architectural or historical importance spanning eight centuries of our history.
The Ipswich Society has produced a comprehensive leaflet with full details of the participating properties plus map and directions. Plan your route, choose a guided walk or plan a bus trip for the family on a historic vehicle using the leaflet available from Tourist Information Centres or your local library!

Exciting new additions this year include Gippeswyk Hall, new home of film and theatre company Red Rose Chain and a real architectural treasure chest!

For the first time also The Magistrates’ Court will be open on the Saturday afternoon, with the opportunity to see a “mock-trial”. Guided tours of Suffolk New College and sports facilities are also on the list.

Well worth a visit is the Machine Room at Isaac’s on the Waterfront. This is a rare example of an 18th century hand malting concern, and the machinery has now been restored to full working order. Not far away, in Back Hamlet, Holy Trinity Church is a rare Suffolk Georgian church and one of Ipswich’s best kept secrets, with a remarkable stained glass window in memory of the First World War.

Buildings both ancient and modern will be open around town, from St Mary-at Stoke Church to the new University building on the Waterfront. On Saturday, free mini-tours and activities will be available at Ipswich Museum, with a chance to view items not normally on display. Arlington’s Brasserie in Museum Street has a fascinating history, and will be open for meals and snacks through the Heritage weekend.

On the banks of the River Orwell, take the Shotley Road to visit Freston Tower, now restored as a holiday let. At the opposite end of town, Martlesham Heath Control Tower opens on Sunday.

Free bus trips around the town will be provided by historic vehicles from Ipswich Transport Museum and free guided walks will leave from the Tourist Information Centre at 10.30am on both days.

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