As we head towards the summer months, the exciting Thomas Wolsey 550 programme has a packed programme of talks, walks, events, school’s activities and community projects. It’s a hectic pace! 

Over the last 15 months, since our project was launched, many thousands of people across Ipswich have been involved in Wolsey 550, and we are so grateful for their enthusiasm and support. 

In the coming weeks, we are offering loads of opportunities to learn much, much more about Ipswich’s most famous son, the world he lived in, and the Ipswich he knew growing up all those centuries ago. 

As part of our talks programme, we are thrilled and honoured to welcome two very eminent historians to present on Wolsey and his world. 

Ipswich Star: Thomas Wolsey remains as fascinating today as he was 550 years agoThomas Wolsey remains as fascinating today as he was 550 years ago (Image: Warren Page/Ipswich Central)

On Friday, May 31, we welcome Prof. Anthony Musson, to present “Cardinal Wolsey: Architect of Diplomatic Splendour.”

This will explore Wolsey’s role in overseeing diplomatic encounters and hosting festivities for foreign rulers or their ambassadors, most notably arranging the extraordinary meeting of Henry VIII and King Philip I of France, in 1520, near Calais, at the Field of Cloth of Gold - a meeting where the tents were covered in gold, a fountain ran with fine wine and a dragon was reputed to be seen flying overhead. 

Prof. Musson is Head of Research at Historic Royal Palaces. He is currently project lead on “Henry On Tour,” researching the Royal progresses of Henry VIII. 

We are incredibly fortunate to welcome Prof. Musson to Ipswich for what promises to be a fascinating presentation. It takes place at 2pm on Friday, May 31, at Ipswich Institute. Tickets are £6 plus booking fee.

To book see 

Ipswich Star: Terry Hunt brings us the latest news from the Wolsey 550 projectTerry Hunt brings us the latest news from the Wolsey 550 project
Another undoubted highlight of our talks programme is the visit of Dr. Eleanor Jenaga, who will deliver a presentation with the eye-catching title “A Brief Guide to Medieval Sexuality.” 

Dr. Jenaga will explore the ways medieval people thought about sex and sexuality. 
Dr. Jenaga is Guest Teacher in the London School of Economics Department of International History and teaches an online course on Medieval Gender and Sexuality. She has published a number of books, regularly appears on TV and radio and hosts a hugely popular podcast ‘We’re not so different’ which discusses the ways that our lives and society is not that different to those of people in the past. 

This podcast looks at common misconceptions about the medieval period and talks about the regular lives of ordinary people rather than those of royalty and aristocrats.  

This talk takes place at 2.30pm on Saturday, June 8, in Lecture Theatre One at the University of Suffolk. Tickets are £6 plus booking fee. To book, go to 
Then on Thursday, May 30, we have a really local affair, featuring Ipswich-based historians, who will talk about different aspects of Wolsey - his early life, his family connections and Ipswich’s significant maritime history. 

There will be presentations from Caleb Howgego, Pat Grimwade and Phil Roberts. This starts at 7pm on May 30, at Lecture Theatre One at the University of Suffolk.

To book, go to 

Tickets are £6 plus a booking fee. 

Moving into July, we have a fascinating talk entitled “Hidden Tudors - Uncovering Black History.” This is a presentation by Ivya Scott, a Black History Consultant, who delves into the Tudor era, unveiling narratives of black individuals, exploring their diverse roles and contributions to Tudor England. The presentation will advocate a more inclusive understanding of history at 7pm on Thursday, July 4, at the Hold in Fore Street, Ipswich.

Ticket can be obtained by visiting The Hold in person or 
As well as fascinating talks, we also have a programme of informative guided walks, offering a combination of learning and some gentle exercise!

Topics include the Ipswich Wolsey knew as a boy, and our wonderful Medieval churches.

For more details, and to book, 

Finally, save the date! Thursday, July 4 will see a fantastic parade from St. Peter’s next to the Waterfront, going to the Cornhill. Much more detail to follow! 

For an overview of all the Wolsey 550 events, go to