St Margarets Church Ipswich
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Improving our heritage visitor experience

Home > Heritage > Background to the Bells and Heritage Project > Improving our heritage visitor experience

Our plans to provide a much improved heritage visitor experience where people can learn about and engage with our heritage and history at St Margaret's Church.

St. Margaret’s is the finest medieval parish church in Ipswich and its heritage reflects the enormous social, political, architectural and religious changes that have occurred during its 700 years.

The outstanding, and unique, feature of the church is the 15th century ‘double hammer-beam’ carved wooden roof, to which elaborate painted panels were added in the 17th century. We have installed new LED up-lighting and commissioned a mirror table on wheels to make it much easier for people to see it.

At the base of the tower, below the new gallery, we have created a Heritage Information Area. This is intended as the ‘first port of call’ for heritage visitors. It includes good lighting, new display boards, holders for guidebooks, improved seating, and a screen for real-time viewing of the bells in action.

Much work has been put into producing attractive new guidebooks and leaflets, suitable for visitors of all ages and at various levels of detail. These include a walk-round mini-guide, a fully illustrated guide and a ‘Let's Explore’ guide for children 

Pull-up banners will welcome visitors to the church and guide those who maybe don’t want to use a guidebook or leaflet.

Several members of our congregation have been trained as Tour Guides.  Free tours are to be offered on a regular basis to groups and individuals on general and specialist topics.

The website you are reading this on was created, together with a new ‘St Margaret’s logo’ (see the banner heading at the top of each page) to give a common identity to all our publications. The website is intended to be easy to use on a tablet or phone and be the main source of information about St Margaret’s and its heritage, especially for people before and after they visit in person. 

Audio recordings of interviews with people who have had a long connection with St Margaret’s have been made and turned into a collection of ‘Living Memories’ which can be heard on the website, or as digital downloads.

Finally, we held an open day and a Blessing of the Bells ceremony when they returned from the foundry and a Celebration at the end of the project.

Blessing the Bells

Blessing the Bells, March 2018