Christchurch Mansion is a Museum and Art Gallery in Ipswich, Suffolk, that houses collections of pottery, glass, contemporary art, and painting from artists such as Thomas Gainsborough. Visitors to the Mansion can also view rooms of the house that have been kept and preserved just as their previous inhabitants would have had them, as well as original items of clothing. The house is surrounded by 70 acres of stunning trees, lawns and ponds.
Before the Mansion was built, the grounds were originally home to the Ipswich Priory, which was destroyed during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. The land was then bought by Sir Edmund Withipoll, who built the mansion in 1550, and the ground floor remains largely as he made it, though the upper floors had to be re-built after an unfortunate fire in 1670.
In 1874, the Mansion was bought by local wealthy businessman, Felix Cobbold, to save it from demolition. He then donated the building to the Ipswich Corporation to turn into a Museum and Art Gallery, on the condition that they also bought the grounds around the Mansion, for the pleasure of the people of Ipswich.
These days, Christchurch Mansion is open to the public Tuesday - Sunday, 10am to 5pm. To get to the Mansion by road, simply use the A12 or A14, and follow the signs to Ipswich town centre. Or, it is a mere 20min walk from the train station, or 5mins from the central bus station.