Rooted In History

Rooted in History project is a collaborative project between Suffolk Record Office and Art Branches cic. It uses the rich archival material of Hardwick Heath, in Bury St Edmunds, collected by community groups from Suffolk Record Office,  to inspire creative activities to support people’s mental wellbeing.


One of the participating groups from Gatehouse dementia hub, Bury St Edmunds had a series of 4 sessions, incorporating exploration of material from the archive, including historic maps and photographs and beautiful botanical drawings. The second session involved 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. During third and fourth sessions participants had the opportunity to produce a creative response to the themes explored by the project. To find out more about this project please visit Suffolk Archives.

36 different Service Users and 8 staff from Wedgwood House at West Suffolk Hospital took part in this project; their work has been turned into creative journals and a timeline mural in one of their common rooms, with help from project manager Stephanie. The timeline incorporates elements from the studied archives and art work made by participants during the project and shows 1100 years of history. A Service User in her mid fifties who who came to 3 sessions returned to the project to show a collection of detailed studies made since being discharged as result from her inspiration.

Another Service User in his mid forties said “ Thank you so much for this inviting and interesting mural. It is uplifting when I walk into the room; I love the flowers which are so calming. The mural has a beautiful and lovely feel and is full of interest whilst also being peaceful.”

Please visit Bury Free Press article to see more.

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