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5 Historic Homes You Must Visit in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond

Find out what it was like to live as an Earl, explore ‘Downton Abbey’ style stately homes, and see where children’s author Beatrix Potter’s Suffolk getaway. 

Ickworth House, Park and Gardens - National Trust

After walking in the tranquil parkland, experience 1930s domestic service in the restored servants' basement, sharing the real stories and memories of former staff who kept this country estate running.

Discover the extraordinary life of the 4th Earl of Bristol, the Ickworth visionary who built Ickworth House, a man loved and loathed in equal measure, the vagabond star in his own words. 

For 200 years, the eccentric, and sometimes infamous, Hervey family added to the treasures inside and out, also creating the earliest Italianate garden in England. 


Gainsborough House, Sudbury

Learn about the man behind the art with an art history lecture or talk at the birthplace of painter Thomas Gainsborough. Children are especially welcomed to take part in an art workshop to learn painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, 3D, acrylics, and graphite.

Kentwell Hall, Long Melford

Tour a romantic moated redbrick Tudor mansion with extensive gardens and rare breed farm. Kentwell Hall is a very much a lived-in and loved family home, something it has been for over 500 years. The public can see much of the House, including rooms used by the family. 


Melford Hall - National Trust

Find out more about the children’s author Beatrix Potter who was a frequent visitor to Melford Hall, drawing inspiration for her work from the house and gardens. Built in the 16th century, the stately home of Melford Hall is the ancestral seat of the Parker Baronets and is the much-loved home of the Hyde-Parker family. Beatrix Potter (‘Cousin Beatie’) was a cousin of the family and the visitors’ book has many of her sketches in it, marking her visits to the hall.  The West Bedroom, which is where Beatrix stayed when she visited, is still furnished as it was during that time and also showcases memorabilia including some of her watercolours.


Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich

Explore period rooms including the Tudor kitchen, sumptuous Georgian saloon, beautifully detailed Victorian wing and much more. This beautiful Tudor Mansion boats over 500 years of history.