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Seeking Suffolk - The History of Christchurch mansion


Christchurch Mansion

Close to town in the centre of Ipswich, you will find Christchurch Park; a beautiful, large park extending over 33 hectares of land. It’s by far my favourite park in Ipswich and I have so many memories of being there with my friends in the summer, enjoying all the events and natural beauty that the park has to offer. Within the park, there is the beautiful Christchurch Mansion, a Tudor built mansion holding 500 years of history. If you’re new to Ipswich, it’s certainly a place you should visit if you want to get to know the area a little bit better.

Christchurch Mansion has seen many owners over the 500 years that it’s been around, but the story begins much earlier than that. The site used to be part of the Holy Trinity Priory which was founded in the 12th century but was shut down by Henry VIII. It then became the site of Christchurch Park and was bought by a London merchant, whose son, Edmund Withypoll, built the mansion in 1547. The estate was passed down through the family, and the building was renovated by the Leicester Devereux.

Christchurch Park offers lots of community events, and this all began in 1735 when Claude Fonnereau bought the mansion and land. He increased the estate and allowed the public to enjoy the grounds and hold community events. Nearly 300 years later, we are still enjoying events as a community, like the annual firework display and Music in the Park.

In 1894, Christchurch Mansion was sold and was presented as a gift to the town. The park was bought by the Ipswich Corporation and today we can still enjoy all it has to offer and visit the mansion as members of the public.

Every so often, displays and exhibitions are held at Christchurch Mansion. Most recently, the Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk exhibition has been held there. It explores Ed Sheeran’s journey as he grew up from a child to be a world-wide known name. As a free display, we highly recommend you visit and celebrate Ed Sheeran’s connections to Suffolk.

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