Ipswich Building Preservation Trust 207 AGMAnnual General Meeting 2017Guest speaker: Fiona Cairns, Director of the Suffolk Preservation Society, gave a talk on the work of the SPS, with emphasis on the historic built environment. Fiona is the Director of SPS, having joined in 2012. She has had some twenty years previous experience as a conservation planner, including with Westminster City Council and Monmouthshire County Council. Tuesday 14 November, 6.30 for 7pm, Isaac’s, Ipswich Waterfront. Bob Allens' review of the talk.

Ipswich Building Preservation Trust SPS image



Heritage Open Days 2017. Saturday 9th September & Sunday 10th September 2017  1000 – 1600. Pykenham’s GatehouseA rare opportunity to visit this medieval gem with its carved beams, hidden staircase and jettied first floor. This is one of the earliest domestic buildings in the town, and has witnessed more than 500 years of Ipswich history. It has seen the comings and goings of some 20 generations of Ipswich people - at first through the north gate and along the street with the brook, and more recently past the imposing library built opposite it during the last century of its vigilance. Volunteers will be on duty throughout both days so there is a chance to chat, explore and learn more.

All events are free. Donations to Ipswich Building Preservation Trust to offset costs would be very welcome.

Ipswich Building Preservation Trust. High Sheriff walk 2017High Sheriff of Suffolk learns more about the Trust. Chairman, Nick Jacob and Trustee, Margaret Hancock were delighted to hear that this year's High Sheriff of Suffolk was keen to learn more about the work of the Trust. Geoffrey Probert and his wife Nella were welcomed to Pykenham's Gatehouse for an overview of past projects. This was followed by a guided walk taking in some examples of the town's magnificent built heritage which Geoffrey has since described as 'Ipswich's great treasures and a real treat!'. The walk also looked at some of the buildings currently considered to be at risk and Curson Lodge, the Trust's most recently completed project.

Regional Heritage Trust Network (formerly Association of Preservation Trusts) meeting hosted by Ipswich Building Preservation Trust at Quay Place on Tuesday 21.3.2017 see our write-up and photographs. Also the full Newsletter report.

Build, build, build: Are planners, developers, and architects destroying the idea of excellent ordinary urban fabric? 2016 AGM talk by Jay Merrick, notes by Bob Allen

The Trust's Heritage Open Days 2016 eventsSaturday 10 September 2016: Unique guided  tours ‘Creating a future for the past’. Saturday 10 September & Sunday 11th September 2016:  10.00-16.00, Pykenham’s Gatehouse

Ipswich Wet Dock – Riches to Rags and Back Again on the planning and architectural treatment of the Wet Dock. 2015 AGM talk by John Field, notes by Bob Allen.

The Trust's activities for the public over Heritage Open weekend 2015, September 12 & 13, with photographs of the events.

The dates for Pykenham’s Gatehouse opening (all Saturdays) 2015 are: May 2 (10.30-12.30), June 6 (10.30-12.30), July 4 (10.30-12.30), August 1 (10.30-12.30), September 5 (10.30-12.30) to be confirmed, September 12 & 13 Heritage Open Days (10.00-4.00), October 3 (10.30-12.30)

Friday 27 March 2015: an Ipswich Building Preservation Trust group visit to the Orangery and the Stable Block at Holywells Park. Click here for a report and photographs.

2 March 2015: IBPT Spring Newsletter now available.

Heritage and regeneration in Ipswich 2014 AGM talk by Dr Geraint Coles, notes by Bob Allen.


Experienced heritage guide Margaret Hancock's voice held up during four guided walks over the Ipswich Society's (see Links) Heritage Open Weekend. For this, the Trusts' first venture into guided walks, Margaret gave fascinating perspective and detail about Pykenham's Gatehouse, Curson Lodge (thanks to the owners they were able to visit some of the rooms and the cellars here) and two 'buildings at risk': 4 College Street and 1-5 College Street. Our photograph shows Margaret and appreciative audience outside the Gatehouse, the area cluttered with builder's materials during work on the nearby Ipswich & Suffolk Club. 

13/14 September 2014. HERITAGE OPEN DAYS – Creating a future for the past; Ipswich Building Preservation Trust: guided tours of historic buildings at risk, past and present to explain the work of the organisation. Walks commence at Pykenham's Gatehouse (shown above) opposite Northgate Street library.

By kind permission of the current owner, guided tours had access to the cellar and first floor areas of parts of Curson Lodge, the Trust's most recently completed project. Walks lasted approximately 1 - 1¼ hours & ended at St Peter's by the Waterfront.  

Photographs below show 1-5 College Street, 2 College Street, Curson Lodge.


Thursday 22 May 2014. †IBPT Corporate Guest EveningCreating a future for the past with Dr John Blatchly took place on Thursday 22 May 2014 at The Ipswich & Suffolk Club, Ipswich. A well-attended and lively evening was prefaced by an interview by Etholle George with the Trust's Chairman, Nick Jacob on BBC Radio Suffolk's breakfast programme. 

Guided tours by Bob Allen of some of the older parts of The Ipswich & Suffolk Club, which stands opposite Ipswich Central Library, were complemented by those by Margaret Hancock of the famous Pykenham's gatehouse, an early project of the Trust and now its headquarters. An introduction to the work of the Ipswich Building Preservation Trust by our Chairman led naturally into a fascinating, extemporised talk by noted local historian, Dr John Blatchly. He evoked the times when a succession of Archdeacons were in residence – when sometimes the high walls around the house were definitely defensive against the mob – followed by a series of medical practitioner residents and then a lawyer. Around 125 years ago the building – itself a melange of periods, styles and additions – became home to the club; above one of the fireplaces is a fine painting by Leonard Squirrel showing the car park adjacent to Tower Street when it was a bowling green.

See the excellent Essay on the history of Pykenham's House kindly written for us by Dr Blatchly