Thomas Wolsey 550 Project

Thomas Wolsey 550 is major heritage and education project managed by a partnership of Ipswich Central, Ipswich Borough Council, and Suffolk Archives; made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The 18 month public engagement project includes an exhibition about Thomas Wolsey and Tudor Ipswich at Suffolk Archives, town centre events, music, theatre, screenings, talks, guided walks, and activities for families. 

The project aims to:

  • Celebrate Ipswich's heritage – telling stories from Ipswich's past to inspire the future.
  • Increase social mobility – helping to build a sense of aspiration for local people.
  • Promote mental and physical health & wellbeing – through accessing and/or experiencing local culture, community, and heritage.
  • Create opportunities for children and young people – up to the age of 25.
  • Support Ipswich communities – focusing on one or more individual communities, or a specific geographic area of the town.
  • Uplift local communities – engage with people in areas of Ipswich where engagement in cultural and heritage activity is low.

Thomas Wolsey rose from humble beginnings in Ipswich to become the most powerful statesman in England, alongside King Henry VIII. His career was unprecedented. Wolsey was quite simply, a master of opportunity. His achievements, which shaped politics, law and religion in this country, illustrate that anything is possible for anyone.

An exciting public programme is planned in Ipswich, with a huge range of activities for everyone scheduled over 550 days until the programme’s finale in September 2024. Together we will build a new legacy for Thomas Wolsey.

Read more on the Thomas Wolsey 550 website:


The Hold, Fore Street, Ipswich, IP4 1LN


The Hold


01/03/2023 - 30/09/2024