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bridge over moat at Kentwell Hall

See what's behind the doors at some of Suffolk's historic houses

Here we have some ideas for different ways to see some of Suffolk's historic houses. 

From a friendly, Invitation to View, owner led tour at Earsham Hall, near Bungay to spending a day as a Tudor at Kentwell Hall.  

There's houses with maze's to get lost in and round houses, along with beautiful gardens to stroll around on a sunny, summer's afternoon.

 

YOUR INVITATION TO VIEW

Take a look behind the closed doors of some of Suffolk's privately owned historic houses on an Invitation to View tour.

Many of the properties only open on set dates and the owner is normally your tour guide, giving you a personal insight into the history and events of the house and garden.

Some of the properties open to the general public as well but they make sure that Invitation to View visitors get something extra to make their visit unique.

Earsham Hall, nr Bungay, a large authentic Queen Anne house with medieval origins is one of the houses in the collection.  This is home to an enthusiastic extended family and a haunting of ghosts!  Whilst on a pre-booked tour you can also visit the furniture showrooms in the old part of the Hall and enjoy some delicious home-made refreshments in the Tearoom.

Image of Earsham HallEarsham Hall 

KENTWELL HALL

It's time to travel back in time and see how Kentwell Hall
would have been run in Tudor England during 1588.

On the weekends of 22-24 and 29-30 June 2019, The Kentwell estate becomes a complete living, working community, with the sights, sounds and smells true to the era.

The event allows you to experience how life was actually lived, seeing everything from the daily lives of the gentry and household in the main house, to the staff in the dairy preparing butter and cheeses.  In the bakehouse, smell the freshly made bread and watch the brewers in the brewhouse as they busily make the finest ale!

Throughout the gardens and grounds many traditional crafts are demonstrated including basket making, wool dying, pottery and metal work at the Forge.

Everyone visiting is welcome to join in the activies on what promises to be a day out that will stay with you for a lifetime!

Tudor bakers at Kentwell HallTudor bakers at Kentwell Hall

SOMERLEYTON HALL

Somerleyton Hall in the village of Somerleyton is one of the finest Victorian Stately homes in the country and is still a private residence.

  When you take a tour of the house you will find out more about the architecture, see the family portraits and view the grand staircase hall, a vestibule, ballroom and winter garden.

You can also book to stay at Somerleyton Hall, you will need 31 friends or family to come with you but for 2 nights b&b you will be able to enjoy a truly memorable and 'downtonesque' experience.  If the cost for this is a little out of reach, Fritton Lake Resort, on Somerleyton Estate has a range of places to stay including luxury ShedRooms and lakeside lodges.

The Hall is set in 12 acres of Victorian designer gardens which are gradually being re-imagined as a series of interconnected rooms to leisurely meander through.  The famous yew hedge maze, designed by Willian Andrews Nesfield dates back to 1846.  Leave plenty of time, it may take longer than you think to find your way back out! 

Somerleyton Hall maze (c) Visit EnglandThe 'Nesfield' maze at Somerleyton Hall

ICKWORTH HOUSE

Ickworth House, with its classical Rotunda, is described as the flamboyant conceit of the 4th Earl of Bristol, and is a magnificent Italianate palace.  The House is situated in scenic parkland nearby to the historic market town of Bury St Edmunds in the heart of Suffolk.

Throughout the house you will see one the finest silver collections in Europe, family portraits by Gainsborough and Reynolds, works by Titian and Velázquez, and Neoclassical sculpture including Flaxman’s ‘Fury of Athamus’.

After exploring the house, the gardens are just as stunning mirroring the Italianate architecture.  This is a house and garden for the whole family to enjoy.  There are areas to picnic, routes for the children to go on bikes rides, adventure playgrounds and just plenty of space to run around in.

Image of Ickworth HouseIckworth House near Bury St Edmunds

Know something we don't?

These are just a few of several more historic houses in Suffolk waiting to be explored.  We would love to know which are your favourites via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.