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Why is there scaffolding around Ipswich Waterfront Wolsey Gate?

PUBLISHED: 16:43 10 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:43 10 March 2020

Wolsey's Gate, Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Wolsey's Gate, Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER

A two week project to clean and repair an historic Ipswich landmark has begun, with conservator experts helping keep the 16th Century structure safe.

The Wolsey Gate in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANTThe Wolsey Gate in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Scaffolding appeared around Wolsey's Gate in College Street, Ipswich, on Monday, but Ipswich Borough Council confirmed it was not because of any issues with the Grade I Listed ancient monument or its structural integrity.

Instead, a two week programme of cleaning, repairs and maintenance is being carried out by the council's team alongside experts in building conservation to ensure it is not damaged.

The structure, adjacent to St Peter's by the Waterfront, dates back to 1528 and is the last remaining part of the college built by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: 'We are undertaking this specialist work as part of a planned maintenance and cleaning programme in order to protect and enhance one of our key historic assets.'

The Wolsey Gate in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANTThe Wolsey Gate in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

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According to the Suffolk Archives website, the College of St Mary was thought to have been linked to Wolsey's college of Christ Church in Oxford, and incorporated the existing grammar school at the site.

The repairs comes in the same week that the borough council began work on the former Post Office building in the town centre, which had been delayed by several months.

That £1million job is to restore the roof and make repairs to the Victorian interior, before a campaign to find a new tenant gets underway.

The borough council has already committed to urgent repairs on 4 College Street directly opposite Wolsey's Gate - the only building on the 'at risk' register owned by the council.

That Grade II Listed structure has been unoccupied for 39 years, and is subject to a £423,000 revamp to carry out the necessary improvements to bring it off the 'at risk' register and make it suitable for a tenant in the short term.

The future of that building will be incorporated into the ongoing masterplan for the St Peter's Dock and Waterfront Gateway area.

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