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Melford Hall

Melford Hall contains a wonderful family history and a treasury of fascinating memorabilia which makes this one of the finest stately homes in the East of England.

Step inside this turreted Tudor House and see what would have greeted Queen Elizabeth I when she and 2,000 members of her court were lavishly entertained by Sir William Cordell in 1578. In fact Melford Hall history goes back many centuries further as the original medieval building, part of which remains, was owned by the Abbots of Bury St Edmonds from the 11th century until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.

This magnificent red-brick pile combines its ecclesiastical past with an octagonal Tudor gazebo, an Edwardian terrace, a Regency library, an ornate Victorian gateway and Georgian interiors.

It has been home to the Hyde Parker family, one of the most distinguished naval families in Britain, since 1786. It contains a fine collection of family artworks and naval artifacts which reflect the family's influential status, producing three Admirals. Some of the Chinese porcelain on display in the house was the spoils from the capture of a Spanish ship in the East Indies during the Seven Years War, when the 5th Baronet served as the Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy.

During the early 20th century Beatrix Potter, who was a cousin of the family, frequently visited Melford Hall and there is a room dedicated to her artwork and menagerie of soft toys along with the original Jemima Puddleduck ornament.

During World War 11 Melford Hall was used as a base for the army and the grounds were filled with Nissen huts to accommodate various regiments. In 1942 there was a damaging fire which led to major restoration in a more simple Scandinavian style of the north wing.

The hall and 130 acres of deer park were given to The National Trust in 1960, and the estate has been giving pleasure to visitors ever since. The 12th baronet, Sir Richard Hyde Parker, and his family still reside on the estate.

Melford Hall is pure Tudor with its three wings around an open courtyard, and its red brick exterior topped with octagonal turrets and tall chimneys.

A tour of this historic home will reveal the original panelled banqueting hall, a double library with oak furnishings inlaid with walnut and yew, and a fine collection of furniture and paintings scattered throughout the drawing rooms and the Victorian bedrooms.

The fine staircase, installed by Thomas Hopper between 1813 and 1820, has three balusters to each wide tread, all carved in a different pattern. The map of the estate, dated 1613, names every field and shows the garden layout in a fascinating record of local history.

The beautiful formal gardens overlooking the local village green add to the pleasure of any visit. The former moat is now a sunken garden and the Edwardian terraced gardens include clipped topiary around the former bowling green. The pond with its fountain was the inspiration for the sketches in the story of Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter. The estate has a separate banqueting house in the grounds and some fine specimen trees offering delightful parkland walks.

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Bus Services:
Beestons/Chambers/Felix various services, Monday-Saturday from Sudbury; Chambers 753, Monday-Saturday Bury St Edmunds-Colchester; Network Colchester 90C, Sunday Haverhill-Ipswich (passes Ipswich ). All pass close Sudbury.

View local cycle routes on the National Cycle Network website.

By Road:
In Long Melford off A134, 14 miles south of Bury St Edmunds, 3 miles north of Sudbury.

By Train:
Sudbury 4 miles.

On Foot:
Railway Walk linking Long Melford with Lavenham, 4 miles.

Ordnance Survey Reference:

Melford Hall Postcode for SatNav: CO10 9AA


+44 (0)1787 376 395 (Infoline)
+44 (0)1787 379 228

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