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Which Ipswich buildings can you look around for Heritage Open Days?

PUBLISHED: 19:00 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:55 04 September 2018

The Old Custom House has been a popular part of the Ipswich Heritage Open Days in previous years Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The Old Custom House has been a popular part of the Ipswich Heritage Open Days in previous years Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Dozens of treasured Ipswich buildings will be throwing open their doors to the public next month, as the Ipswich Heritage Open Days return.

The annual open event allows people to have a wander around some of the town’s key buildings – including some which are not normally open to the public.

Among some of the popular landmarks in recent years have been the Willis rooftop garden, Tooley’s Court in Foundation Street and the basement strongrooms of Mutual House in Giles Circus.

A spokesman from Ipswich Borough Council which supports the event, said: “The Heritage Open Days weekend is a great opportunity to discover Ipswich’s heritage.

“We are grateful for the hard work put in every year by the Ipswich Society to organise this event and hope residents and visitors alike take time to explore some of our town’s treasures, many of which are not open to the public throughout the year.”

The Willis Building's rooftop garden will be open for the Ipswich Heritage Open Days Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Willis Building's rooftop garden will be open for the Ipswich Heritage Open Days Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

This year’s 31-building programme, which takes place on the September 8/9 and 15/16 weekends, features new additions including the Old Bell Inn in Stoke Street, Ipswich Art Gallery in High Street and the Captain’s House in Grimwade Street.

Other key highlights include Quay Place, Ipswich Institute and Reading Room in Tavern Street and Broomhill Lido.

Free guided walks will take place across some of the key locations, while others will offer refreshments.

John Norman, chairman of the Ipswich Society said: “The important thing is it gives people the opportunity to go inside buildings that aren’t ordinarily open to the public.

The Unitarian Meeting House in Ipswich will be open to the public Picture: PHIL MORLEYThe Unitarian Meeting House in Ipswich will be open to the public Picture: PHIL MORLEY

“It’s an opportunity for people to realise we have a tremendous history in Ipswich.”

Mr Norman said while it was difficult to measure visitor numbers, a study two years ago measured around 10,000 visits.

He added: “It’s a tremendous boost to the town as there are people that might not be out and about in the town, so economically it’s a tremendous opportunity for the town.”

Once again, the heritage bus laid on by Ipswich Transport Museum will run trips between the buildings, including accompaniment by a tour guide.

For the full list of buildings and opening times, visit the Ipswich Society website or pick up a guide at the Tourist Information Centre.

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