Everything you need to know about Ipswich Heritage Open Days as Broomhill Pool opens gates for weekend
PUBLISHED: 13:29 13 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:29 13 September 2019
The famous Broomhill Pool and the Willis building roof garden are among some of Ipswich's icons to open to the public this weekend for heritage open days.
The open days, organised by the Ipswich Society, will see 39 of the historical and modern sights of Ipswich open their doors to the public - unveilling seven centuries of history.
Among them are some of the most beloved spaces in the town, with the Grade II listed lido and Norman Foster's early town centre marvel just the tip of what's on offer.
To top it all off, a heritage bus from the Ipswich Transport Museum will take visitors around seven of the sites - including Broomhill.
When does it start?
Celebrations will be running across the weekend of September 14 and 15, although some events - including the bus - will only be available on Saturday.
Most of the buildings will be open throughout the morning and afternoon, but specific timings are available on the Ipswich Society website.
Will there be other chances to see the buildings?
Many of the buildings and spaces are not usually open to the public or remain permanently closed.
As such, the Ipswich Heritage Open Days give the people of Ipswich the perfect chance to see and remember some of the most important parts of the town's history.
How much does it cost?
All guided walks and entries are free of charge.
While some offer refreshments, it is advised to bring a packed lunch or visit one of the many cafes and restaurants the town centre has to offer.
Is it suitable for children?
Yes - many of the buildings will be holding special activities for children.
Among them are the Ipswich Building Society who have a mock-19th century home, the Ipswich Art Gallery and the Suffolk Energy From Waste Facility in Great Blakenham.
Where can I find a full list of events?
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Specific timings and a full list of events are available from the Ipswich Society's website.
Booklets are also available from the Tourist Information Centre in St Stephen's Church, the Ipswich County Library and many other venues around the town.
Here are five of our recommendations for where to visit
1: Broomhill Swimming Pool
The famed Grade II lido was a favourite in the town for 64 years until its closure in 2002.
Following a successful lottery funding bid, it is hoped the pool will return to its former glory and open its gates again in 2021.
2: Willis building roof garden
Former Top Gear presenter James May once visited the roof garden of the building, during an episode.
The building was created by world-famous architect Norman Foster and offers fantastic sights across the town.
3: Birketts Solicitors
Just a stone's throw away and the newest building on show, the Princes Street building owned by the Ipswich legal stalwarts was a finalist at the British Council for Offices awards in 2019.
More importantly for visitors, the building's roof garden offers stunning views across the waterfront - as well as Ipswich Town Football club, who play Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
The popular waterfront pub was once a merchant's house equipped with an 18th century malt kiln.
Guests will have the opportunity to tour the machine room and see it in action on Sunday, September 15.
5: Suffolk Energy From Waste Facility
Although just outside Ipswich in nearby Great Blakenham, the facility which processes nearly 270,000 tonnes of waste every year will be open to the public for tours.
Visitors will learn how the county's waste is turned into electricity, while children can enjoy waste and recycling-themed activities.