6 Suffolk time capsules and what's inside of them
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
The Sacred Heart Church time capsule – buried in 1923, uncovered in 2019
Found buried beneath the pulpit of The Sacred Heart Church in Southwold was a time capsule that dates all the way back to 1923. Uncovered during renovations on the church in 2019, contractors dug up a sealed glass bottle which contained pages from the May 15, 1923 edition of The Times, early 20th century coins, a Latin scroll, and a photograph of parish priest Fr Henry St Leger Mason, who buried the capsule.
Curson Lodge time capsule – buried in 1902, uncovered in 2013
Following a 2013 car crash into the historic Curson Lodge, a small time capsule was uncovered from the building’s brickwork. It was a blue medicine bottle which contained a business card and shopfitter’s receipt that dates back to 1902. The top of the receipt reads: “The Wolsey Pharmacy, memo from Frank II Palmer. Dispensing and family chemist.”
Built in 1480, Curson Lodge is Grade II-listed and one of Ipswich’s most historic homes.
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Pot Kiln Primary School time capsule – buried in 2017, due to be dug up in 2067
In 2017, a group of primary school children gathered to bury a time capsule under a nearby housing development.
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Pupils at Pot Kiln Primary School in Sudbury placed images of their school, memorabilia, their thoughts on the area and a copy of the school’s newsletter within the time capsule. It is not due to be dug up for another 46 years.
Ipswich Cornhill time capsule – buried in 2018, due to be dug up in 2050
Due to be unearthed at Suffolk Day in 2050 is the Ipswich Cornhill time capsule, which was buried beneath the town’s iconic Gateways. Lowered into the ground by then-Mayor of Ipswich Jane Riley, alongside brothers Damon and Riley O’Donnell, it contains a jazz recording of the New Town Hall Polka, a commemorative edition of the Ipswich Star, a signed Ipswich Town FC programme, a University of Suffolk prospectus, and a scroll explaining what the Cornhill project was about.
Suffolk Record Office time capsules – buried in 2019, due to be dug up in 2119
In 2019, the team at Suffolk Record Office buried a number of time capsules across the county to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the oldest document in its collection, the Eye Charter, as well as the development of The Hold, the archive’s new home at the Waterfront.
Time capsules were buried in towns such as Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Ipswich, and Lowestoft, and are intended to be unearthed a century later.
Suffolk Archives’ community and learning officer for West Suffolk Hannah Salisbury, who worked on the Stoke-by-Nayland capsule, said: “Stoke-by-Nayland Primary school were planning a history day, where they would dress up as Victorians, so we got in touch with them to combine the capsule burial with their history day.”
The school children created a variety of content that went into the capsule, including diaries they kept for a week, photographs of the village, and predictions for the future.
“The headteacher was also retiring after 25 year, so a small group of the older children did an oral history where they interviewed her about her stories and memories, which also went into the capsule,” added Hannah.
Woodcraft Folk time capsule – buried in 2020
While 2020 may have been a year most of us would like to forget, one group of youngsters gathered last August to ensure the events of last year could be immortalised for future generations.
Children from the Ipswich Woodcraft Folk Pioneers Group gathered, socially-distanced, to help preserve the events and memories of one of the most eventful years in recent memory.
The capsule, which was buried near Belgrove Place, was an idea that the children came up with during one of their weekly Zoom meetings.
Helen Slipsted, who leads the group, said: “There are lots of pictures of Boris Johnson, hand sanitisers, a mask... One child actually wanted to include a U-turn sign to show how the government changes its mind. We initially thought it was going to all be about bush fires, and then coronavirus hit.”
Within the capsule, the children also buried coloured-in NHS rainbows, information about Clap for Carers, and letters to their future selves.
Have you buried your own time capsule in Suffolk, or uncovered one? What was in it? Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to share your stories and photos.