Ickworth is one of the most unusual and most surprising of National Trust properties, an elegant Italianate house and gardens set within spectacular English parkland. The estate, which today comprises 1800 acres, was owned by the Hervey family from the middle of the fifteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century.
The present house at Ickworth was begun in 1795, the creation of a famously eccentric Hervey: Frederick, 4th Earl of Bristol
and Bishop of Derry. Inspired by Italy, Ickworth's extraordinary central rotunda and curving wings were intended to house treasures the Earl Bishop collected from all over Europe. Today, the magnificent state rooms display Old Master paintings, including works by Titian, Velasquez and Gainsborough. Ickworth is also noted for its Georgian silver and Regency furniture.
The gardens surrounding the house were created in the first half of the nineteenth century by the First Marquess of Bristol. Those in the formal Italian style to the south of the house feature the Gold and Silver Gardens, a Victorian Stumpery and the Temple Rose Garden. A raised terrace walk separates the south garden from the park. Beyond the church are the remnants of an eighteenth century garden created by the First Earl. His summer house (c1703) and ornamental canal still survive. The kitchen garden, protected by high brick walls, is now a vineyard producing Ickworth Walled Garden Wines.
The extensive wooded parkland, created in part by Capability Brown
, is a living landscape rich in plant, animal and bird life. Some parts are cultivated and grazed yet much can be explored and enjoyed. The Park offers space and freedom and is managed by the National Trust to respect the needs of all its users and inhabitants, animal and man.
The Perfect Day Out
Ickworth has something for everyone: an exciting play area, a trim trail, a family cycle route, enchanting gardens, woodland walks, an excellent licensed restaurant, a well stocked shop, and a house with a fascinating history and exquisite collections. Disabled visitors - drop off point to ramped front door, blue badge parking, accessible lavatory, all floors accessible, Braille guide, tactile tour, free use of batricars in park and garden.
Good routes for prams, wheelchairs and Batricars (map available)
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