The Suffolk Archives statement on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its services is available to read here.

Rooted in History

A creative heritage project to support people’s mental health and wellbeing

  • Join us in our project to discover the wealth of history at Hardwick Heath
  • Explore this large parkland adjacent to West Suffolk Hospital, once home to the impressive Hardwick House
  • Work with a professional artist to produce creative responses to your material of interest
  • This collaborative project between Suffolk Record Office and Art Branches aims to improve wellbeing through supported creative arts activities based on
    rich archival material

We are looking to create three small groups of participants, and each group will take part in four sessions:

  • The first session will explore material from the archive, including historic maps and photographs, and beautiful botanical drawings. This could take place at Bury Record Office in a private space, or we could bring facsimiles out to another meeting place if that worked better for the group
  • The second session will be a visit to Hardwick Heath, with copies of historic maps and photos to compare what is there now with what was there in the past
  • The third and fourth sessions will be led by a professional artist, and participants will have the opportunity to produce a creative response to the themes explored by the project

The artwork produced will then be displayed at sites in Bury St Edmunds.

This project is open to anyone who is experiencing or recovering from a mental health issue. It is free to take part, but spaces are limited. To register your interest, please contact Hannah on

We are also looking for volunteer Project Assistants – find out more here.

Rooted in History is a Sharing Suffolk Stories project, part of a countywide programme of activities to run alongside the development of ‘The Hold’, which will engage more people than ever before in Suffolk’s archival heritage.