Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds was delighted to welcome William Wilkins, the great-great-grandson of William Wilkins, the architect who designed and built the theatre in 1819, to the theatre today for a tour, and for him to share some documents from his family’s archives.
Heritage Officer Dr Clare Barry was very pleased to be able to meet William, taking him for a private tour of the building before sitting down with him to discuss his ancestor’s work and legacy. He had also brought with him some documentation from his family across the generations and posed for a photo with the bust of his relative which stands permanently in the theatre’s foyer. William, himself an artist who is in fact the 7th William Wilkins in his family lineage, also met with a few of the theatre’s heritage archive volunteers and tour guides, answering their questions.
Speaking about his visit, William said: “I always love coming to this theatre, it’s a wonderful place and I am so proud that my family heritage puts me in close connection with it. I was last here in 2007 for the production of Black-Eyed Susan, when the theatre reopened after it’s restoration and I thought it was absolutely marvellous”
The documents that he brought with him will now be examined and transcribed by the volunteers to enrich our growing knowledge about this historic theatre.