A new Roman-themed play villa to open at Castle Hill, Ipswich

Published11th July 2022

A new play villa - a colourful and interactive outdoor park and with gym equipment - will start to be built this week in the Castle Hill area. The Roman-themed play villa will encourage active play for all abilities and ages with its colourful mosaic pavement, floral walls and Roman-themed graphics. The play villa designs are inspired by a Roman villa discovered nearby and reference what living in a real villa at Castle Hill might have been like thousands of years ago.

Other Roman elements will include an amphora vase (large wine vessel) full of Roman coins and which is an item that was found during excavation work and which is now displayed at Ipswich Museum. Gladiator faces and a gladiator training area, a pantry, Roman baths, courtyard area with pendulum rope-swing and hopscotch will also be there to enjoy. There is even a grand banquet hall complete with a picnic table to enjoy grapes like a Roman Emperor!

Ground works will begin this month with play equipment being installed during August and surfacing works in early September and it will be ready for opening in Autumn 2022. The existing Castle Hill play area will remain open for use whilst the new play villa is built nearby.

This is the first play-space to be delivered from Ipswich Borough Council’s Play Area Strategy 2022-2027.

Councillor Phil Smart, Ipswich Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment & Climate Change, says:

“We are pleased to be providing this new, exciting and educational play-space for young people and families to enjoy together. It’s great to celebrate our local history, using the Roman villa found near to the site as inspiration for this play villa. Its design has allowed us to celebrate the past as well as educate a young audience in a fun and inspiring way.”

“I look forward to such innovative design being used in the large programme of new park facilities the Council have recently agreed. Acta non verba’ – ‘Deeds, not words’ as we have been saying since Roman times about making Ipswich even better."


Photo credit – Kompan