Christchurch holds large collections of art by well-known Suffolk painters such as Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable, as well as lesser known artists such as John Moore, Thomas Churchyard, and Alfred Munnings.
The museum displays a large number of Tudor and Stuart portraits of Suffolk gentry, dating from 1570 to 1681. In addition, there is a display of British porcelain and pottery, especially Lowestoft porcelain, produced locally from 1757 to 1799 in imitation of China ware.
There is also an extensive display of furniture and other household furnishings rescued from old timber-framed houses before they were demolished. Included in this collection are a number of carved overmantles and painted plasterwork remnants.
The history of Christchurch Mansion
Christchurch was originally the site of a 12th century Augustinian priory. The priory was disbanded by Henry VIII in his Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the estate was seized for the crown. In 1545 the estate was purchased by the Withypoll family, and three years later Edmund Withypoll built this house where the priory had stood.
In the 18th century the house was purchased by a London merchant of Huguenot descent, Claude Fonnereau, and a wing was added to the north-east corner of the mansion. The upper floor of this wing features a state bedroom with ornate plasterwork. In 1892 the mansion was purchased by Felix Cobbold, who gave it to the city of Ipswich, and Christchurch has been maintained as a museum since 1896.
Christchurch Park has been open to the public since the 18th century for a variety of events, and is now a popular place for public events such as concerts, art fairs, and the like. The Park features an arboreta, a bird reserve, croquet lawns, a bowling green, tennis courts and children's play areas.
Free entry. See website (below) for times and dates.
Address: Christchurch Park ,
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Website: Christchurch Mansion
Email: +44 (0) 1473 - 433564
Fax: +44 (0) 1473 - 433554
Photo Credit: Andrew Hill, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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