Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Heritage Open Days Part 1 + Yesterday

Heritage Open Days.................A nationwide event run by the National Trust which allows access to buildings not usually open to the general public.

I picked up this brochure to see which places I could visit easily on a Saturday morning out in Ipswich town centre.
 First The Admirals House.
Named after Admiral Page who lived here and now owned by The Ipswich Institute and used for running courses. There is very little to see of any original features from the C18 and it probably would have been small cottages before the C18 refurbishment.

 It stands in an important position in Tower street one of the streets running off the main town centre street and opposite St Mary Le Tower Church - The church used as the civic church of Ipswich.
There are reports in Newspapers of the time of visits by the Duke of Wellington to this house in 1820 and 1821.

One of the few older features remaining is this elaborate over mantle  with it's little cabinet with a glass door in the centre

After Admiral Page died in 1845 it was sold to a Mr Corder who was an important silk merchant in the town. He left it to the newly formed Church of England Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich in 1922 and then it was sold to The Ipswich Institute in 2000. To make it suitable for public use it's now all false ceilings and bright lights and  safety doors.

The next visit was a quick look in the Ipswich Institutes other building....Their Library and reading rooms. This is just a door in between shops in Tavern Street but opens up inside to this

Founded in 1824 by Dr George Birbeck, The Ipswich Mechanic Institution moved  here in the 1840s although the barrel-vaulted roof dates from 1876.
From their website...............
The Ipswich Institute is as progressive now as when it was founded in 1824 - just nine years after the Battle of Waterloo! Dr. George Birkbeck's Mechanics' Institution was dedicated to making knowledge available to the 'artisans' of Ipswich and encouraging their general and vocational education.

It now has 2,500 members who pay £55 a year for membership which give them access to a private library, leisure and learning courses, art classes and visits to places of interest.


Yesterday was Day One of turning the downstairs loo-with-washing-machine room into a proper bathroom. ..........A guy arrives....he has only a rough idea of what he's supposed to be doing so it's a good thing I do know!
Problem.............he is "only" a plumber so can't do tiling or the removing and making safe of electric socket, also he doesn't have the bath or basin "which someone will bring later".  Anyway, he gets the boxing in done around the waste pipes in the upstairs bathroom which has been waiting for someone to come back to do for 3 months.
He moves the waste for the washing machine and connects up a new water supply and moves the washing machine into the porchway. He prepares pipework for the bath.Then he takes out the little basin and cupboard. All good so far and he contacted the company and an electrician arrives and sorts the plug. But NO bath or basin turns up. So at 3pm he leaves. Hopefully he'll be back today................

More Tomorrow


  1. I've not heard of Heritage Days - what a brilliant scheme. I rather love that fireplace.

    1. There must be some places open in Essex. It's usually mid September and was 2 weekends this year.

  2. Loved the ceiling in the library/reading room stunning. Fingers crossed someone turns up today with the bath and basin.

  3. Co-ordinated by the National Trust, covers all major cities in England and many civic buildings, churches, and places of interest and even old factories used or unused. The National Trust part of it is only as co-ordinator. It is a good way of seeing behind the scenes. I got to see the first elevation of Norwich Cathedral one year, the place where only stone masons go.

    1. Most of the Suffolk buildings open were in Ipswich. I shall visit some different ones next year. The Willis Building has been recommended

    2. Mostly Norwich here too. I didn't go to any this year, the planning time was when I had the tooth trouble and I seemed to miss it.

  4. I've been over a couple of times when those days are on. They are very interesting. It's nice to be able to go inside some of the buildings you don't usually see the inside of. One we visited used to be a tavern. It's down by where the tourist info centre in St. Stephen's church is. There are some beautiful old buildings in Ipswich. Thanks for sharing the photos!

  5. Fantastic ceiling. I feel your pain re plumbers. I have been half promised a replacement bathroom sink on Friday. Then realised its Friday when I have to sit naked and be washed down by a care person.....using said sink. In Scotland we have Open Doors Day just gone. Covers more than Scottish National Trust.

  6. That ceiling is outstanding. I have a friend who lives in Ipswich MA. The people who founded this country established towns with names that reminded them of home. The county I lived in when I lived in Wisconsin, had town names that hearkened back to the villages and cities in Pommerania where my family came from.
    Fascinating architecture and history. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I love the Heritage weekends - in Scotland it is a whole month but over different areas - we have seen some brilliant places over the years - just writing up my visits now to post soon.
    Good luck with the plumbing job.