Work gets underway to regenerate St Mary at The Quay, Ipswich

After a great deal of planning and preparation, work is set to commence on an exciting project at St Mary at the Quay, as the first preparatory archaeological work takes place this week.

Suffolk Mind and the Churches Conservation Trust are working in partnership to regenerate the medieval church, bringing mental wellbeing and heritage together in a creative and innovative way, with help from a £3.6m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This beautiful medieval building will become a centre for relaxation and calm, with a modern extension to the church which will house complimentary therapies, performance and business spaces.

St Mary at the Quay has one of the earliest examples of a double hammer beam roof and has an important place in the town’s medieval history. Peter Aiers, CCT Regional Director, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled that the work to undertake the archaeology and build the extension to this grade II* medieval church is finally about to begin. This vital work will ensure that St Mary at the Quay has a sustainable future and can remain open to the public for many generations to come.”

With the work beginning in earnest in the New Year there will be many ways that the local and wider Community can get involved. Plans for the New Year include a range of open events, some of which will be based around the work that will be taking place on site. The first of these is scheduled to take place in February, to coincide with the archaeological dig and will be a two-day event for local schools and the general public. As well as the opportunity to examine any finds from the exploration work, visitors can also learn more about the church and take part in a range of activities. The exact date will be announced early in the New Year.

“We are entering a very exciting period in the development of Suffolk Mind and are  committed to bringing this beautiful church back to life, providing a quiet and beautiful sanctuary in a busy historic market town, to promote  wellbeing, as well as an appreciation of our rich waterfront heritage,” said Anna Hughes, CEO, Suffolk Mind.  “We encourage anyone who is interested in the project to contact us so they can receive regular information about our progress and the broad range of activities that will take place during the construction phase.”