About Holywells Park
Holywells Park is a beautiful park situated just north of the emerging Waterfront area, between Nacton Road and Cliff Lane. It has 67 acres of rolling grounds, ponds and woodland.
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Holywells Park offers visitors:
- a water play facility (summertime only);
- a bowling green;
- a state of the art children's play area.
The play area was opened in 2007. It was named The Discovery and designed around a galleon theme after the ship which sailed to North America to found Jamestown in 1607. The play area has around 20 pieces of play equipment, along with sheltered picnic areas and attracts youngsters from all over Ipswich and beyond.
History of the Park
Holywells Park opened to the public in 1936. The former mansion was demolished but a Grade II listed Orangery from the late 19th century still exists.
The Park was originally part the Manor of Wykes Bishop, held by the Bishops of Norwich from the 13th Century. During the reign of Henry VIII, the Manor was surrendered to the Crown and then granted to Sir John Jermy. The title of Lord of the Manor was acquired by John Cobbold in 1812.
During the 18th Century, a succession of brewers worked in the park and used the waters to make beer. The Cobbold family had owned land at Holywells from 1689. They had begun their brewery in Harwich but had problems with the water there and for many years used ships to transport water from Holywells to Harwich, and then to return to Ipswich with beer.
Holywells House was built in the 19th Century on the site of an old farmhouse. Its Victorian gardens were redesigned in the 20th Century in accordance with the ideas of gardeners such as Gertrude Jekyll.
Friends of Holywells Park
Holywells Park has an active Friends group which contributes to the Park's development. More information is available on their website: http://www.holywellspark.org.uk/.
Wildlife in Holywells Park
http://www.holywellsbirds.co.uk/ is a locally run website that highlights the birds, butterflies and wildlife to be found in the park. It details recent sightings and key sites within the park where wildlife can be found.
Holywells Restoration Project
Ipswich Borough Council was awarded a project planning grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to pay for the investigations that are needed before work can begin to restore Holywells Park. As a result, Wessex Archaeology have excavated a number of trial trenches to see if there are old surfaces and structures hidden under the ground which can tell us more about the history of the park. More information is available on the Wessex Archaeology website.
Last Updated: Thursday 24th October 2013