Summer garden party and SPS AGM

6.30 pm (registration from 6 pm)

Our annual garden party will take place in the gardens at Little Hall in Lavenham.

All Members are welcome to join us for a summer’s evening in one of Suffolk’s loveliest medieval walled gardens.

This is a free event but donations are encouraged.

For catering purposes, please book your place:

AGM agenda and papers available here


An evening with renowned architectural historian Jeremy Musson to celebrate the SPS Heritage Champion Awards

Join us for our summer event which will take place in the converted stables and courtyard at Heveningham Hall. Our speaker for the evening is renowned architectural historian, Jeremy Musson.

Jeremy will speak about his admiration for Suffolk historic buildings, his own personal experiences in the field of East Anglian historic buildings and how his perception of Suffolk’s historic houses has changed over the years.

Jeremy is a regular contributor to Country Life and other journals, as well as a former National Trust curator. He is author and co-editor of numerous books on historic houses and wrote and presented the BBC TV series A Curious House Guest. He currently lectures in the department of architecture and history of art at the University of Cambridge

£30 per person (£20 for SPS Members)


A visit to the oldest house in England, Wenham Castle

There will also be the opportunity to visit the 13th century grade I listed St Lawrence’s Church (formerly known as All Saints Church) with its striking wall paintings of the Virgin and Child, St Margaret, St Catherine and St Mary Magdalene and St Christopher. 

Come with us for a rare opportunity to visit the very special manor house and church complex hidden deep in rural south Suffolk at Little Wenham.

Wenham Castle is one of the oldest houses in England dating from the 13th century and is probably the earliest English building constructed largely of brick. Its importance is such that Sir Nikolaus Pevsner termed it ‘one of the incunabula of English domestic architecture’.

If you would like to extend your visit you are welcome to bring a picnic.

Please read our directions and joining instructions for this event – available here.

£15 per person – Members only event


Past events

A walk and talk in the ancient woodlands of Staverton Park

Led by Gary Battell, Suffolk County Council Woodland Advisor, we were treated to a walk through this unique woodland which is of great historical and conservation interest.

Gary’s extensive knowledge and passion for the great oaks and their environment was clear as he explained the challenges faced by these ancient specimens in the face of climate change.

A light lunch was enjoyed at the Shepherds Cottage, which is located on the edge of the forest and part of the Staverton Estate.

Thanks to SPS Trustee, Nicholas Pearson OBE, who kindly sponsored the event, and to the Kemball family for allowing access to the forest.


Energy Efficiency and Old Buildings – A one day training event

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Haughley Park Barn, Haughley Park, Stowmarket IP14 3JY

We were delighted to welcome around 90 participants to the beautiful Haughley Park Barn on Wednesday for our ‘Energy Efficiency and Old Buildings’ training day.

SPS partnered with Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and Historic England to deliver the event.

The workshop was delivered by Roger Hunt and Marianne Suhr on behalf of SPAB, together as well as Dan McNaughton from Historic England and Simon Sturgis, Targeting Zero and SPS Trustee.

We also welcomed a number of stall holders who were able to display and discuss some of the materials and products required to maintain and improve our historic buildings.

The sell out audience of professionals, homeowners and community representatives demonstrated the growing interest and importance of this topic. A huge thanks to all who helped to make this event such a success.

This workshop was made possible thanks to the Suffolk Climate Action Community Match Fund, which was provided by Suffolk’s public sector organisations, as part of the wider work to address the climate emergency. Find our more about the Community Match Fund and the Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan here: www.greensuffolk.org.


A summer evening at Cockfield Hall, Yoxford

Thursday 13 July

By kind invitation of Mr and Mrs Jon Hunt, we were delighted to be able to hold our summer event will be held in the grounds of Cockfield Hall.

We were joined by internationally renowned landscape architect, Kim Wilkie, who is leading the landscape restoration project at the Hall, and Laurence Edwards, the artist who created the fascinating Yoxman, a 26 foot sculpture at Cockfield.


SPS AGM and garden party

Our annual garden party took place on Friday 16 June 2023 in the gardens at Little Hall.

All Members were welcome to join us in the beautiful garden of our head office in Lavenham.


An afternoon at Ickworth House and gardens with tea at the Ickworth Hotel

Monday 15 May 2023

The afternoon kicked off with short walk and talk from the National Trust manager who explored the history of the house and some of the challenges facing the estate including how to plan and adapt for climate change. We then split into two groups. One accompanied the head ranger on a guided walk of the wider estate while the second group accompanied the curator on a tour of the artwork collection in the house. We also had the chance to view the exquisite and extensive silver collection which is thought by many to be the finest in Europe.

Finally we were treated to a fabulous array of sandwiches and cakes at the Ickworth Hotel – the perfect venue to relax and chat with others over afternoon tea.

Many thanks to all those who came along and supported the Society. Special thanks also Reeman Dansie, Fine Art Auctioneers for kindly sponsoring this event and to the National Trust and the Ickworth Hotel who generously opened their doors to us.


Heritage led regeneration in action

A vintage bus tour and exclusive access to completed projects

Thursday 20 April 2023

A mixture of SPS Members and new faces joined us for a fascinating day out in Lowestoft on 20 April.

We started the day at the East Anglian Transport Museum with a welcome from SPS Director, Fiona Cairns and an introduction to the projects and activities in the Lowestoft Heritage Action Zones from the East Suffolk HAZ project manager, Rebecca Styles.

Everyone then hopped onto a vintage bus for the trip into town entertained and informed by commentary from Ivan Bunn, well-known local historian. We were then treated to three owner-conducted tours of the interiors of fascinating historic houses on the east side of the High Street.

Safely transported back on the vintage bus, we all had the chance to stay on to have a look at the transport museum in the afternoon. 


‘SEA SAGAS OF THE NORTH – TRAVELS
AND TALES AT WARMING WATERS’

Saturday, 24 September 2022

BAWDSEY MANOR

Members gathered at the evocative Bawdsey Manor on the edge of the beautiful Suffolk coastline to hear Jules PrettyProfessor of Environment and Society at the University of Essex, and Director of the Centre for Public and Policy Engagement, talk about his latest book about refugees who fled Doggerland when the seas encroached.

The talk was followed by a guided tour of the gardens laid out by Sir William Cuthbert Quilter and a rare opportunity to view some of the principal rooms in the Manor, including the Billiard Room where Sir Winston Churchill played when he visited RAF Bawdsey during the Second World War.

Refreshments were enjoyed in the Manor to conclude an enjoyable afternoon.


TENDRING HALL ESTATE

– ITS HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT – A WALKING TOUR OF THE PARKLAND

11 July 2022

Our host, Emily Holden talked about the history of the now lost country house and surviving parkland, Soane’s first country house and a Repton landscape. Robert Townshend lead
us through the programme of restoration of the parkland and its buildings.

The walk also included an opportunity to view the hedgerow restoration scheme, as part of the Stour Valley Farmer Cluster Hedgerow Heroes Project – for which SPS is proud to have sourced the funding.


Net Zero – New build

Wednesday 6 July 2022. A Free Webinar

What the government’s carbon targets are for the UK and what we need to do in practical terms to achieve them with new ways for designing buildings. How we assess the carbon emissions in buildings and what practical steps can be taken to reduce them.

Speakers:

Simon Sturgis AADip RIBA: Co-Author of RICS and RIBA guidance on Whole Life Carbon, Co-Author of Greater London Authority Policy Guidance on WLC, and Special Advisor to the Environmental Audit Select Committee.

Dr Joe Jack Williams MEng MRes EngD: Associate at FCBStudios and lead developer of FCBSCarbon the carbon assessment tool.

Jess Hrivnak: RIBA’s Sustainable Development Advisor.


An evening with Sir Laurie Magnus CBE

“The power of heritage to transform places and improve lives”

Friday 6 May 2022

The evening was hosted by Mr and Mrs Jon Hunt in the beautiful Orangery at Sibton Park.

The SPS Suffolk Heritage Champion Awards were also presented on the evening.

Members enjoyed refreshments beforehand on the veranda in this truly stunning location.


SPS Garden Party and AGM

Our annual garden party was hosted by Mr and Mrs Thomas Seymour at Gothic Farm, Heveningham on Friday 10 June 2022

The party – which incorporated the SPS AGM – was on a beautiful summer evening in one of Suffolk’s loveliest locations.


We are delighted that our sponsor for this event was Reeman Dansie, Auctioneer.


Net Zero – Retrofit and Refurbishment

15 March 2022 . A free webinar

The challenges of retrofitting our traditional building stock.

Speakers:

Morwenna Slade, Historic England – Head of Historic Building Climate Change Adaptation

Alex Whitcroft, London Energy Transformation Initiative – Co-author of the LETI Retrofit Guide

Simon Sturgis – Targeting Zero and SPS Trustee