Beatrix Potter's love of Melford Hall

Whilst Beatrix Potter's beautiful illustrations and stories are most often associated with the Lake District, a rare few were inspired by her time spent here in Suffolk!

Beatrix Potter's stays at Melford Hall

The cousin of Ethel, Lady Hyde Parker, grandmother of Sir Richard Hyde Parker, the present Baronet of Melford Hall, Beatrix visited her relatives often, staying at the hall many times, and it was here that she created numerous watercolour paintings of the house. 

During her stays, she would reside in the West Bedroom, furnished with mid-Victorian furniture, the room also features a turret, which Miss Potter used to keep small animals that she had brought with her on her travels, and to this day, the room remains furnished as it would have been.   

Melford Hall's rare drawings 

In 2016 during house renovations at the Hall, House Manager Josephine Waters found three drawings hidden inside books; featuring chairs, fireplaces and other furniture from the Hall alongside animal characters such as Squirrel Nutkin and the Tailor of Gloucester.

A fourth drawing was also found by Lady Hyde Parker, who lives at Melford Hall with her husband, Sir Richard, where Potter took regular holidays between 1899 and 1916.

This summer, you can see these are finds alongside of the several of Beatrix Potter's soft toys, which served as models for her illustrations, including the original Jemima Puddle-Duck toy, thought to have inspired the children's story in Melford Hall's Banqueting House. 

As well as the sketches, you will be able to visit some of the places featured; The place cards on the table in the Hyde Parker room were created by Beatrix especially for the family and take a look at the dining chairs and you'll come across a lovely pen and ink drawing of one of these chairs in the North Corridor.

The spinning wheel currently in the Blue Drawing Room was the inspiration for a drawing by Beatrix and look out for her friend, the marmalade cat, a Christmas gift to Sir Richard’s sister Elizabeth when the family spent Christmas in the Lake District. 

You can also look through the story album Beatrix Potter at Melford Hall. Many of Beatrix Potter's paintings are featured in the upstairs corridors, including a number of book illustrations and sketches of the house and garden.

Discover the enchanting works of Beatrix Potter for yourself...

Throughout the year, a number of events are being held at Melford Hall; from story readings and exhibitions, to workshops and talks:

28th June - 3rd November - Beatrix Potter The Melford Hall Connection 

20th July - Beatrix Potter Story Readings at Melford Hall

31st July - Beatrix Potter Day at Melford Hall

6th August - Melford Unwrapped - Beatrix Potter's Melford

10th August - Beatrix Potter Story Readings at Melford Hall

6th September - Talk: Beatrix Potter and her Art

18th October - Talk: Beatrix Potter and her Art

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