New book celebrates the wonders of Christchurch Park
- Credit: Fred Ixer
A born and bred Ipswich writer with a passion for his home town has written a book celebrating one of the county’s most treasured parks.
David Miller, chairman of the Friends of Christchurch Park, will be launching his new title ‘Christchurch Park & Ipswich Arboretum: Souvenir & Guide’ at a special gathering on October 13.
The guide, described by Ipswich Society reviewer Neil Salmon as “a very personal and unique book”, delves into the wonders of Ipswich’s Christchurch Park, featuring a range of photographs, postcards and artwork.
Mr Miller, who was born inside the grounds of the park, grew up in the arboretum where his father Tony was head gardener for a quarter of a century.
He has overseen many projects to improve the grounds, including the restoration of the Armillary Sphere Sundial, and has planted over 300 specimen trees in the grounds worth over £60,000, many of which were sponsored by members of the public.
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His first book, ‘Ipswich Arboretum: A History and Celebration’, was published in 2014.
He said: “It is 29 years since Ipswich Borough Council published their excellent ‘Christchurch Mansion & Park Ipswich – An Illustrated Souvenir’ so I thought it was about time I wrote an up-to-date memento.
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“It is also 125 years since the architect and artist John Shewell Corder, fearing for the future of the mansion, wrote and illustrated ‘Christchurch or Withepole House – A Brief Memorial’.
“I hope that the guide I have written will serve a slightly different purpose by looking across the whole 83-acre park and arboretum and showcasing a number of interesting features and subjects for the visitor, which of course includes Christchurch Mansion, but also many other attractions some of which were not present in 1989 and even 2015.”
The book launch will take place at the Reg Driver Visitor Centre in Christchurch Park from 12pm to 1pm on Saturday, October 13. All proceeds from the sales will go to the Friends of Christchurch Park.
The book has been supported by Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd., which has a number of historic links with the park.
Alan Prickett, managing director, said: “I am very pleased to support David’s latest book.
“Ransomes Jacobsen’s long history began in 1789 when Robert Ransome set up an iron-foundry business with just £200 opposite St. Mary-at-the-Quay Church, before moving soon after to a disused maltings in St. Margaret’s Ditches (now Old Foundry Road), just a minute or two’s walk from Christchurch Park, which was then owned by William Fonnereau (1732-1817), son of Claudius Fonnereau.
“Over the last few years Ransomes have taken a great interest in David’s work in the arboretum and park, and have been delighted to support it. I congratulate him on his latest book and hope that its success will further assist the excellent work of the Friends of Christchurch Park.”