Suffolk

Ipswich Holywells Park restoration work to begin

Holywells Park, Ipswich Image copyright Ipswich Borough Council/BBC
Image caption The Orangery under corrugated iron and how it could look (left) and the stable block (right)

Work is due to start next month on a £3.4m restoration project at a public park in Ipswich.

The Holywells Park scheme aims to turn the Grade II-listed stable block into a visitor centre.

The Orangery, which is under corrugated iron, will be restored and turned into an exhibition room.

Local contractors have been appointed by Ipswich Borough Council to begin the work in early March and it is expected to take 10 months.

The project was given £2.8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund, with Ipswich Borough Council also contributing.

Image copyright Ipswich borough council
Image caption Holywells Hall was demolished in the 1960s, but the project aims to restore its outbuildings and grounds

'Transformation'

The man-made ponds, which were used to supply water for the Cobbold brewery, have already been dredged.

Another part of the scheme is the creation of an outdoor theatre space for community groups and schools, within the walled garden.

The buildings which are being restored belonged to Holywells Hall which was built in the 67-acre park in the 19th Century.

The land was given to the public in 1936, but the hall was demolished in the 1960s.

Image copyright Christchurch mansion
Image caption The man-made ponds in Holywells Park were painted by Thomas Gainsborough c.1748-50

Bryony Rudkin, portfolio holder for culture at Ipswich Borough Council, said: "Holywells Park is a fantastic park and sometimes is not given the attention it deserves.

"This project will really put it on the map and create a new attraction for visitors and the community."

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