Ipswich: Old Customs House

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The Customs House, Ipswich © David Gill

The Old  Customs House on the Wet Dock in Ipswich was completed in 1845 by J. M. Clark (who had won a competition to build it). It has a Tuscan portico, and a clock tower at the north-west corner. The Customs House was adjacent to the wet dock part of the developments in Ipswich designed by Henry Robinson Palmer (1795-1844) in 1837 and opened in 1842.

RSA Heritage Network and Suffolk

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RSA Launch © University of Suffolk

Heritage Futures hosted the RSA Heritage Network event for Suffolk this evening. Around 50 guests from across the region listened to presentations on the heritage index (David Gill), museums in Suffolk (Jenna Ingamells) and the Hold (Amy Rushton). There was an extended time of discussion to consider the three RSA themes relating to:

  • the challenges facing heritage in our region / country
  • the solutions
  • the develop of networks to support heritage

Further details about the event can be found in the press release.

RSA Heritage Network: Suffolk’s Diverse Heritage

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Heritage Futures will be discussing the RSA Heritage Network questions in the context of ‘Suffolk Diverse Heritage‘. Heritage in Suffolk is supported by two key bodies: the Suffolk Strategic Heritage Forum, and the Ipswich Heritage Forum. We will be considering the challenges facing heritage in Suffolk, and what we can do to support, conserve, develop and interpret heritage more widely across the county.

There will be two short presentations: one on The Hold, the new heritage centre for Suffolk (funded by HLF), and the other on museums in Suffolk.

All are welcome.

Carlton Marshes

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Carlton Marshes © David Gill

The Suffolk Wildlife Trust has been awarded over £4 million to enhance Carlton Marshes near Lowestoft through the purchase of a further 348 acres of land. This will include the construction of a new visitor centre that is due to open in 2020. This will form part of the Broads National Park.

Visitors to Framlingham Castle

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Framlingham Castle, Towers 7-11 (from right to left) © David Gill

Framlingham Castle has seen a dramatic increase in the number of visitors during the last year. The latest figures show that 106,149 visitors explored the castle in 2017, an increase of 35.9%. It has been suggested that this was due to Ed Sheeran’s allusion through his ‘Castle on the Hill’.

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Framlingham Castle © David Gill

However note that Ickworth, also in Suffolk, has seen an increase of more than 18,000 visitors (compare Framlingham with more than 28,000 visitors). Are we seeing an increase in visitors to Suffolk or has the music drawn in additional footfall?

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© David Gill

Blue Plaques in Suffolk

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Blue Plaques in Suffolk. Source: RSA Heritage Index

The RSA Heritage Index is using the erection of blue plaques as one of the indicators of heritage in a locality (‘Cultures and Memories’). I realise that these numbers could be out of date. The Ipswich Society lists 22 for Ipswich (see Open Plaques), whereas the Bury Society lists 8 for Bury St Edmunds. Other parts of the county also mark individuals, e.g. AldeburghWoodbridge.

The Hold: a new heritage centre for Suffolk

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The Hold © David Gill

The HLF has announced that it will be awarding £10.3 million for the creation of The Hold, a new heritage centre for Suffolk. This will provide a new home for Suffolk’s archives. The project is a collaborative venture between Suffolk County Council and the University of Suffolk. The Hold will be located on the university’s marina campus in Ipswich.

The HLF had earlier awarded Stage 1 funding of £538,100 [details].

An archaeological trench was cut across part of the proposed site in August 2017.

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The Hold, trial trench © David Gill