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Kindred Spirits: See how renovation work has helped restore Holywells Park in Ipswich to its former glory

PUBLISHED: 11:05 29 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:48 29 April 2015

Holywells Mansion in April 1959. The former home of the Cobbold family was used as a community facility during the 1950s, but sadly it was demolished in 1962.

Holywells Mansion in April 1959. The former home of the Cobbold family was used as a community facility during the 1950s, but sadly it was demolished in 1962.

Dave Kindred

Dramatic restoration works have been taking place in Holywells Park, recreating the stunning orangery once attached to the mansion and landscaping the gardens of the former landmark.

The same view now of the refurbished terrace area using parts of the original mansion walls.
The same view now of the refurbished terrace area using parts of the original mansion walls.

David Kindred has been looking back throught he archives to see how the grand park once look, and rephotographing the scenes to how how it has changed.

Here we show the mansion as it was and the new landscaped area, and our transitional images here show more examples of how the park has been restored.

David said: “Holywells Park, Ipswich, holds special memories for me. I grew up in Cliff Lane, a few yards from the park gate and was a pupil at Cliff Lane School. School holidays, weekends and summer evenings were spent as a child around the woods, lakes and open spaces.

“So I have watched with great interest, as over the past couple of years, there has been huge refurbishment work to this gem among the town’s parks. I am often surprised how many people I know who have lived in town all their lives, but have never been there.”

The mansion from across one of  the lakes in 1949.The mansion from across one of the lakes in 1949.

“Millions have been spent on the restoration with a £2.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund going towards the £3.5 million spend and it is all looking superb.

The Cobbold family owned the land from 1689. Holywells Mansion was built by John Cobbold around 1814, making the family home there.

“The Cobbold family used the spring water from the park for their brewery at Cliff Quay. The park and mansion was donated to the town by Lord Woodbridge in 1935 and opened to the public in 1936. The mansion was demolished in 1962.”

Were you a member of the youth club which used to meet in the Holywells Mansion or do you have special memories to share of the park? Email Kindred Spirits

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