Highlights

Covering thousands of years of both human and natural history, there is so much to for families to discover across Ipswich Museums’ three venues.

Ipswich Museum opened in 1881 and was dedicated to the study of science and art. The galleries range from Victorian Natural History to Egyptians, World Cultures to World War II.

Christchurch Mansion is the jewel in the crown of Ipswich’s historic past boasting over 500 years of history. The rooms are set in period fashions, containing objects from the Tudors right through to the Victorians.

Highlights

Art

Ipswich Museums has the largest collection of Constable oil paintings outside London. There are also drawings and mezzotints engraved by David Lucas under Constable’s supervision.

Suffolk artists represented in the collections include Philip Wilson Steer (1860-1942) and Frederick Brown (1851-1941). Ipswich also holds works by wider East Anglian artists, for example John Crome (1768-1821), George Vincent (1796-1832), James Stark (1794-1859) and John Sell Cotman (1782-1842).

Egyptology

Star items within the Egyptology collections include the gold death mask of Titos Flavios Demetrios, as well as the coffin and mummified remains of Lady Tahathor, a woman of status living in Egypt 2500 years ago.

Anglo Saxons

The Boss Hall brooch is one of the star objects in the Ipswich Story display, dating back 1600 years. It belonged to an Anglo Saxon lady, laid to rest in a what would become one of the richest graves ever to be discovered in our town.

Other parts of the collection include objects from the Hadleigh Road Cemetery, where warriors were buried with their swords, shields and spears and women were decked out in large brooches with strands of multi-coloured glass beads and shiny bronze buckles.

Natural Science

Ipswich Museum has a historic connection to science and the natural world.

Its founding purpose was to ‘promote the study and extend the knowledge, of natural history in all its branches’.

The collection includes bones, skulls and teeth from both British and foreign animals, as well as an extensive collection of eggs from British birds, which is of particular historical interest.

The geology and fossil collections tell the story of climate change during the Ice Age and beyond.

World Cultures

Visitors to the World Cultures Gallery at Ipswich Museum can experience a snapshot of life around the globe during the 1800s. Particular highlights include an incredible Hawaiian feather cloak and Samurai armour.

What’s On

Events

Discover new ideas in Ipswich.

Browse the diary to discover what’s on in Ipswich, including fun events for all the family, talks, tours and evening events for adults.

Exhibitions + Displays

Our programme draws from Ipswich’s own art and museum collections, as well as touring exhibitions and work by local artists. 

Browse the diary to find out what you can see across Ipswich Museums.

Where will your adventure start?