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Ancient House in Clare (c) Visit England

SIGHTS OF SUFFOLK: HOUSES & HOMES

For a county that lacks any quarries, Suffolk has more than its fair share of splendid houses and homes. Large or small, spectacular or significant, these properties exist across the region, whether you’re looking for stately homes, statuesque lighthouses or scenic cottages.
Kentwell Hall Suffolk aerial shot (c) John FieldingKentwell Hall is a house that's full of surprises
Photo (c) John Fielding

KENTWELL HALL, LONG MELFORD

A red brick Tudor mansion with its very own moat, Kentwell Hall sits proudly on the Suffolk/Essex border. As well as the house, you can explore their extensive gardens, and even visit a working farm. It’s one of the liveliest stately homes in the country, holding regular Tudor Days where they recreate the past on a huge scale. The entire estate is transformed and they have up to 250 inhabitants of all ages, skills and wealths taking part to give the day authenticity. It’s full of colour, sounds, and even smells!

THE RED HOUSE, ALDEBURGH

The Red House was Benjamin Britten’s castle. Set off a leafy lane next to Aldeburgh golf course, the master composer lived here with his partner Peter Pears from 1957 to his death in 1976. The house is now open as a museum and visitors can see the studio where Britten wrote, as well as the house interior and the library, all in their mid-sixties glory.

THE HOUSE IN THE CLOUDS, THORPENESS

This is probably the most recognisable building in Suffolk, which is pretty good going for a structure that started life as a water tank. Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie, creator of Thorpeness with its fairytale meare, didn’t like the ugliness protruding above the treeline, so he disguised it and converted the inside into a games room. It’s now one of the most unique holiday cottages in the country.
The House in the Clouds in Thorpeness, Suffolk (c) Martin PettittThe House in the Clouds was once an ugly water tower
Photo (c) Martin Pettitt

BUTLEY PRIORY, BUTLEY

This imposing house started life as the gatehouse to a 14th century monastery for Augustinian monks. Its stone and flint knapped exterior belie the softer interior, and it’s now hired out as a wedding venue, retreat or conference centre. And if you don’t wish to stay the night then there are occasional tours, as well as other special events.

ANCIENT HOUSE, CLARE

A Grade 1 Listed Building that dates back to the 14th century. It’s now a museum run by volunteers, the medieval timber framed building has a carved wooden ceiling in one of the ground floor rooms and some elaborately decorated oriel windows.
Ancient House in Clare (c) Visit EnglandAncient House in Clare offers one of the finest examples of pargetting in the country
Photo (c) Visit England

GLEMHAM HALL, LITTLE GLEMHAM

Built by the De Glemhams in the 16th century, this country house stands amidst 300 acres of Suffolk parkland, and is now owned by the Cobbold family. It’s a spectacular setting that can be toured by the public, and often plays host to special events such as FolkEast and open air theatre.

ORFORDNESS LIGHTHOUSE, ORFORD

This iconic red and white striped tower has stood sentinel over this part of the Suffolk coast for over 200 years. The last lighthouse keeper moved out in 1965 and the light was remotely operated until it was decommissioned in 2013. Now left to the mercies of the sea, this is a sight that may not be around for many more years.
Orfordness Lighthouse (c) Paul HorsefieldIf not moved, Orfordness Lighthouse is likely to disappear within a few years
Photo (c) Paul Horsefield

THE PINK COTTAGES, CAVENDISH

You may have never been to Cavendish, but there’s a good chance you will recognise its pink cottages. Pictures of this mid-Suffolk village have adorned chocolate boxes, jigsaw puzzles and postcards for decades. These small dwellings were once the homes of high powered businessmen when the wool trade was at its height, and their distinctive ‘Suffolk Pink’ hue comes from painters adding things such as elderberries, dried blood, or red earth to the lime whitewash.
Suffolk pink cottages in Cavendish (c) Karen RoeThe 'Suffolk Pink' cottages in Cavendish
Photo (c) Karen Roe

SPOTTED A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING IN SUFFOLK?

If you've seen a special building in Suffolk, why not take a photo and share it with us via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?