History of Holywells Park

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Holywells Park has a history dating back to medieval times. 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 1811.

The Cobbold Family purchased what was the Pitts Farm estate in 1811 to use the park's spring water for their brewery business. The Cobbolds 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 by 1814 on the site of an old farmhouse, but was unfortunately demolished in 1962 due to an infestation of wood rot. Its Victorian gardens were redesigned in the 20th Century in accordance with the ideas of gardeners such as Gertrude Jekyll.

The Cobbolds sold the estate in 1930 to Lord Woodbridge who subsequently bequeathed the land to the Town Council and was opened as a park in 1936.

Holywells Park is designated a Conservation Area with two listed buildings – the stable Block and conservatory – and is on the English Heritage register of historic parks and gardens of special historic interest.

Contact Details

Parks & Cemeteries,
Ipswich Borough Council,
3E Grafton House,
15 - 17 Russell Road,

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01473 433516