Tucked away on Ipswich’s Museum Street is the the original home of the Ipswich Museum.
The museum was founded in 1846 and opened in January 1847 with the specific remit to educate the working classes in natural history. From 1847 to 1853 it was run by a committee on behalf of subscribers, with open evenings for the public. The first President was the entomologist, an original Fellow of the Linnean Society.
The primary initiative for this philanthropic venture came from George Ransome, FLS, a member of the Quaker Ransome family of Ipswich. The Sims & Jefferies” Ransome engineering industry helped to build the town’s industrial prosperity in the early 19th century. All political complexions became involved in the common aim of social improvement through the Museum, and over sixty leading scientists lent their support as Honorary Members or Vice-Presidents.
Today, the Ipswich Museum is located a short walk away from this original site, but the old building houses a restaurant, Arlingtons.
On Hay Hill, in the centre of Norwich, are two pieces of art dedicated to the same man – Sir Thomas Browne.
Browne was one of the greatest thinkers of the 17th century; a well-respected, knowledgeable man who had a deep interest in matters of religion, philosophy and science. He lived most of his adult life in the Hay Hill area and is buried in the neighbouring St Peter Mancroft Church.
The first piece is a statue of the man, high on a pedestal. It depicts him sat contemplating a piece of broken pottery, which on closer examination turns out to be a burial urn.
The other piece of work was officially opened in 2007. Consisting of 20 pieces of sculpture and 22 lights it is called ‘Homage to Thomas Browne’. The stones are made by traditional craftsmen in Italy who used marble from the same area that supplied the stone to build Marble Hall in the Aviva building in Surrey Street. The black granite comes all the way from Zimbabwe. They are set out in a quincunx, a shape which Browne believed existed throughout nature.
You can find out more about these sculptures and the man himself at the official website.
And why not explore the rest of Norwich while you’re there? Plan your trip at Visit Norwich.
Described variously as a slow-burner, a gentle comedy, and a hidden gem, Detectorists is all this and more.
It centres on the lives of Andy and Lance, two middle-aged men who spend their spare time metal detectoring in the fields of Essex. Starring Mackenzie Crooke and Toby Jones, this BAFTA award winning BBC4 show actually films in Suffolk. The fields around Framlingham are home to their searches, while Great Glemham is home to the interior of Two Brewers Pub (better known to locals as The Crown). And the round-tower church from series two? That belongs to Aldham St Mary, eight miles west of Ipswich.
If you fancy exploring this part of Suffolk, metal-detector in hand or not, plan your trip at Visit Suffolk.
The area on the south Suffolk border is known as Constable Country, due to the influence it had on the master landscape painter growing up.
He spent much of his free time wandering the beautiful countryside, taking inspiration and honing his talent, capturing the landscape before him onto paper. You can see a facsimile of one of his sketchbooks at Bridge Cottage, Flatford. Laid out so individual pages are visible, this is a fascinating insight into the creative process of one of the world’s most famous painters.
Why not take a trip to Constable Country? Make sure you take your own pens and paper in case inspiration hits you!
Marriott’s Way is a 26 mile footpath, bridleway and cycle route, which follows two disused railway lines, and runs between the historic market town of Aylsham and the historic city of Norwich.
The path is designed to be enjoyed by everyone: from families and casual walkers to ramblers, cyclists and horse-riders. It’s available for use all year round, and links to the public rights of way network.
Along the route there are a number of fascinating points of interest, including a series of mile markers all designed by different artists and concrete sculptures that symbolise the railway’s concrete heritage. The route also offers great opportunities to witness Norfolk wildlife including kestrels, owls, hares and deer.
Interested in taking a trip to Marriott’s Way? The guidebook for the full route is available at the Marriott’s Way website.
Explore Norwich and Aylsham at either side of your visit with Visit Norfolk.
The Willis building is one of Ipswich’s most identifiable landmarks, and is home to global insurance broker Willis.
The building was one of the earliest designed by Norman Foster, and is recognised as a prime example of the ‘high tech’ architectural style. The exterior is formed of 890 dark smoked glass panels, and contains no right angles, which is both due to the location of the building (nestled in the heart of the town centre), and references Foster’s favourite building, Manchester’s Express Building.
In 1991, because of its unique style, the Willis building became the youngest building to be given Grade I listed building status in the UK.
To visit the Willis building, and explore the rest of Ipswich’s architecture, see All About Ipswich.
The Voice Project is an open-access singing project offering a whole range of creative ways to use your voice.
The Voice Project was created by singers Sian Croose and Jonathan Baker in 2008 and since then we have involved hundreds of singers in performances of great new vocal music as well as workshops designed to build vocal confidence and explore a wide variety of uplifting and inspiring vocal music.
In recent years, the project has performed new work in a variety of spaces in and around Norwich, as well as specially commissioned performances for Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
The Assembly House is a Georgian Grade I listed building in the heart of Norwich.
It was designed by the architect Thomas Ivory, and incorporates the original layout of a previous structure, the medieval college of St Mary in the Fields. When it opened, The Assembly House was used as a centre for entertainment and assemblies for the local gentry. During its long history it has hosted a waxworks exhibition by Madame Tussaud, a concert by the composer Franz Liszt, and many lavish balls including one in 1805 to celebrate Nelson’s famous victory off Cape Trafalgar.
Nestled in the heart of Southwold on the Suffolk coast, beer has been brewed on the site of the Adnams Brewery for over 670 years.
Established in 1873, Adnams has always been committed to having a positive impact on society and making great reasonably-priced products. The company has grown and grown, and now includes a distillery, hotels, shops and pubs.
Beer brewing, however, still remains at the heart of the company’s operations and visitors can take tours of the brewery and follow the beer making process from start to finish. Of course, taking a tour is thirsty work, so there’s even the opportunity to sample the final delicious product in a tutored beer tasting.