Museum appeal hits halfway mark

AN appeal by the Museum of East Anglian Life to raise £830,000 towards a major heritage restoration project is already halfway towards reaching its target.

John Howard

AN appeal by the Museum of East Anglian Life to raise £830,000 towards a major heritage restoration project is already halfway towards reaching its target.

The museum plans to regenerate Abbot's Hall, a Grade II-listed Queen Anne country house on the 75-acre site in Stowmarket.

The Heritage Lottery Fund announced in March that £1.771 million has been set aside for the £2.6m project, subject to the balance being found by the attraction's trustees.


You may also want to watch:


The museum, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, has until the beginning of next year to raise £830,000.

Chairman Michael Argent launched the appeal last month.

Most Read

Mr Argent said: “We're quietly confident. We've already had a number of corporate, charitable and personal donations amounting to over £400,000.

“A further £7,000 was raised including a cheque for £5,000 from the Museum Friends group. The trustees have set themselves a December deadline to hit their target and hope that on-site development will begin in about a year's time involving Abbot's Hall, a grade II listed Queen Anne country house, it's walled garden, stables, conservatory, and two workers' cottages.”

The museum and its buildings stand in the centre of Stowmarket with woodlands and riverside walks. Historic buildings and displays illustrate the region's rural, agricultural and industrial heritage with artefacts and exhibits from the whole of East Anglia.

It is also home to a number of rare traditional livestock breeds including one of Britain's best-loved heavy horses, the Suffolk Punch.

When the restoration is complete Abbot's Hall will have themed display galleries as well as function rooms for civic and public events.

The Victorian stables will be refurbished to provide a working feature with accommodation for several horses and the distinctive walled-garden will receive a makeover.

In Crowe Street, the two cottages occupied until the 1970s by staff employed at the hall will be restored to house a collection of period furniture, ornaments and soft furnishings offering a sharp contrast to the items that will be on display in the hall itself.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter