Everyone will have a chance to uncover some of the secrets of Ipswich’s history, as we throw open the doors of our flagship Ipswich branch, a Grade II listed building, as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days.
What is Heritage Open Day?
Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture. This annual event allows members of the public unparalleled access to historic sites across the country, including those not normally open to visitors.
On the weekend of Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, many fascinating buildings across Ipswich will be open to the public. More information on Heritage Open Days is available here.
Join us at Mutual House
Among those buildings set to be opened up over the weekend is Mutual House, our Ipswich town centre branch located on Princes Street. Originally built as Parr’s Bank in 1901, this Grade II listed building was designed by local architect Thomas Cotman and still boasts many of the building’s original features.
Tour of Mutual House
There’s a special tour of Mutual House on offer, explaining many of the secrets and stories hidden behind the doors throughout the years. This will include going behind the scenes to view our vaulted strong room and a special look at our basement cellars, both of which are normally closed to the public.
Guided Walk of Neighbourhood
Our fantastic archivist Margaret Hancock will also be doing guided tours of one of the areas in Ipswich developed by the Society under its original name of the Ipswich and Suffolk Freehold Land Society, explaining the history of Suffolk Building Society and its role in the development of Ipswich . This also includes a rare opportunity to see our earliest archive deed from Tudor Times.
For a taster of the Society’s history so far, you can visit our heritage page here.
Tom Jell, Member Experience Manager said: ‘The staff at Mutual House here in Ipswich are really looking forward to inviting people into the branch and showing them behind the scenes. We have such a rich history in our town, and this beautiful building has many stories to tell. We’ll take people down to the vault and show them some of the ways Suffolk Building Society has helped to shape the town since 1849. We’ve all missed this special event for the past couple of years – so we can’t wait to get the fancy dress back on and have a great day!”
How to get involved
There’s no registration nor charge, just come along during the opening hours below:
Saturday 10th September: 9am – 4pm
Sunday 11th September: 10am – 4pm
Suffolk Building Society’s Archivist Margaret Hancock’s walking tour of Cromwell Street: 11.30am and 2.30pm. To book the guided tour, please ask a member of staff in branch during your visit.
We hope you can join us, and we look forward to seeing you!