£180,000 play villa and accessible toilets set for autumn

A Roman-themed play villa that will be open at Castle Hill this autumn

A Roman-themed play villa that will be open at Castle Hill this autumn - Credit: Kompan

A new colourful and interactive outdoor park and gym equipment is set to open in Ipswich this autumn. 

A Roman-themed play villa will start to be built this week in the Castle Hill area. 

The project is estimated to cost around £180,000.

Ipswich Borough Council announced the wheelchair-accessible play villa is going to be suitable for all ages and abilities, from toddlers upwards. 

Two accessible composting toilets with baby-changing facilities will also be installed at the park.  

The playground will consist of a colourful mosaic pavement, floral walls and Roman-themed graphics. 

Other Roman elements will include an amphora vase - a large wine vessel - full of Roman coins, which was found during excavation work and is now displayed at Ipswich Museum. 

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There will also be gladiator faces and a gladiator training area, a pantry, Roman baths, and a courtyard area with a pendulum rope-swing, as well as hopscotch. 

Families will be able to interact together through imaginative play, enjoy a picnic in the banquet hall, carry out gladiator training in the courtyard and learn about items found at the Roman villa excavation site nearby. 

The playground design is inspired by a Roman villa discovered nearby and aims to present what the village could have looked like thousands of years ago.   

The design team tends to make every new play area in Ipswich as unique as its location.    

The groundworks will begin this month, which will cover the installation of play equipment in August and surfacing works in early September. 

The Roman-themed play villa is planned to open in autumn 2022.   

The existing Castle Hill play area will remain open for use whilst the new play villa is built nearby.   

The playground renovation has been approved by Ipswich Borough Council and will be delivered through Play-Area Action & Investment Plan 2022–2027. 

Councillor Phil Smart, Ipswich Borough Council’s portfolio holder for environment & climate change, said: “We are pleased to be providing this new, exciting and educational play-space for young people and families to enjoy together.  

“It’s great to celebrate our local history, using the Roman villa found near to the site as inspiration for this play villa. Its design has allowed us to celebrate the past as well as educate a young audience in a fun and inspiring way.”