Christchurch Mansion £1m renovation work begins

Scaffolding has now gone up on Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich.

Scaffolding has now gone up on Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Work has begun on a £1million revamp project at Christchurch Mansion, which will help protect it for the next decade.

The Grade I Listed 16th Century mansion announced the work in April, which includes installing additional CCTV cameras, repairs to the brickwork and roof, electrical rewiring and new air conditioning to help preserve the mansion’s artwork and artefacts.

The planning committee approved the work last month, with scaffolding put up last week so the work could begin.

A borough council spokesman said the mansion would remain open throughout the work, but individual rooms and areas may be closed from the public for brief periods.

Work is due to finish by the end of the year, the spokesman added.

The application outlined the need for additional security cameras, which will help protect the mansion’s artefacts and prevent further vandalism incidents.

The application added: “There is a need for high level of security, and the building has an alarm system and staff presence 24 hours a day.

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“In addition to the valuable collections inside, the external fabric of the building has suffered vandalism and theft in recent years, and an example of this is when the lower sections of the 17th Century lead rainwater pipes were stolen a few years ago.

“Great care has been taken over the location and choice of cameras and associated wiring, to ensure that their impact is as low key as possible, and that no harm is done to the historic fabric of the building.”

The work had originally been earmarked for last year, but was put on hold while the Wolsey Gallery at the mansion hosted the Salisbury Cathedral painting by John Constable.