Visit these 7 attractions around Ipswich area for free on Heritage Open Days

American tourists looking at the Charter Hangings in St Peters by the Waterfront, Ipswich

Heritage Open Days will include a chance to see the Charter Hangings in St Peter's Church, Ipswich. Pictured here is a previous visit by a group of American tourists - Credit: Archant

See inside Suffolk Archives' The Hold and Ipswich School this weekend as the town marks Heritage Open Days.

This year, fewer properties than normal are opening in person because of Covid 19, with some offering virtual tours instead.

Some virtual tours will be available via the main Heritage Open Days website, while the Ipswich Society, which co-ordinates the event in the town, is also offering tours via its new Heritage Icons website.

However, there will be a chance to visit places in real life, on Saturday, September 11 and/or Sunday, September 12, plus other dates over the next week as the full Heritage Open Days event runs from September 10-19 this year.

Here are 7 historic - and more modern buildings - you can visit in person, following Covid-safe guidelines.

St Peter's by the Waterfront in Ipswich is the venue for a swing concert. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

St Peter's by the Waterfront

St Peter's by the Waterfront, College Street, Ipswich, September 10-11 and 14-17, 10am to 4pm (except for September 15, 10.30am to 2pm)  


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This historic mariners' church  has links to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and the Ipswich Charter Hangings are on show here.

The hangings were created to commemorate the 800-year anniversary of the granting of the Royal Charter to Ipswich by King John in 1200, and depict Ipswich through the ages.

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There will be information about the building and area, as well as additional displays by the Over Stoke History Group, plus a Craft by the Waterfront event on September 11.

There is no need to book your visit in advance.

St Clement's Church in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

St Clement's Church in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

St Clement's Church, Star Lane, Ipswich, Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12,10am to 4pm 

Another town-centre mariners' church, St Clement's dates from the late 14th and early 15th centuries.

It closed for worship in 1975 and has been in the care of the Ipswich Historic Churches Trust since 1981

In front of the tower door on the west side is a memorial to Sir Thomas Slade, who designed HMS Victory.

Ipswich Historic Churches Trust is currently conducting works to the interior to enable the building to be brought back into community use.

There is no need to book in advance.

The Hold on Ipswich Waterfront

The Hold on Ipswich Waterfront - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Archives at The Hold, Ipswich Waterfront, Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, 10am to 4pm, guided tours.

Now's your chance to see around this new archive and heritage centre, on the Waterfront campus of the University of Suffolk.

The tours will look at the design and function of the building and the range of heritage on show.

As part of this year's Heritage Open Days theme, "Edible England", archives relating to food will be on show. You can also follow the garden trail, including herbs and plants related to cookery.

 You don't need to book your free tour of The Hold, but you need to book online if you also want to visit the current Brick History exhibition.

Ipswich School

Ipswich School - Credit: Warren Page/Ipswich School

Ipswich School, Henley Road, Ipswich, Saturday, September 11. Tours at 9, 10 and 11am.

Visitors can look around the 19th and 20th-century school buildings, including a chapel with Victorian stained glass and a library with stained glass windows by John Piper.

The guided tours will be led by the headmaster, Nicholas Weaver.

You do not need to book, but there will be a maximum of 50 people per tour.

The Old Bell Funeral Home, Stoke Street, Ipswich, Saturday, September 11, 10am to 3pm

It's believed this building was the oldest pub in Ipswich, and sold beer for more than 500 years.

You will be able to see around the refurbished ground floor of the building, which is now a funeral directors and chapel of rest.

Booking is not needed, but there will be small groups of six for tours to enable social distancing, and visitors will be required to wear masks.

Felixstowe Sea Cadets Drill Hall, Garrison Lane, Felixstowe, Sunday, September 12, 12 noon to 3pm

This historic hall was built in 1901 and is now home to the Felixstowe Sea Cadet Corps.

There will be guided tours, activities for children and refreshments will be available for a small donation.

Booking is not needed. There is no public parking but visitors can park for free in the station car park, which is a five to 10-minute walk away.

Submarine Mining Establishment at Felixstowe Museum, Saturday, September 11, 11am to 4pm

One of the most unusual places to visit for Heritage Open Days is the Submarine Mining Establishment (1878) at Felixstowe, the last remaining purpose-built SME in the UK.

Visitors will follow the route the mines took along a tramway through the Ravelin Block, which now houses Felixstowe Museum, and out to the jetty.

Booking is not needed. Only the museum exhibition rooms needed for the tour will be open on the day, together with the shop and cafe.

For full details of all sites taking part in Heritage Open Days, visit the website.








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