Melford Hall: Inside one of Suffolk’s Most Iconic Historic Houses

Meldford Hall from above

Last Updated on March 9, 2023

Boasting mediaeval roots and regularly hosting Beatrix Potter, Melford Hall remains one of the most exciting houses to visit when staying at one of our Barns and Barges for rent in Suffolk. Built in the 16th century, the site of Melford Hall was previously held by the abbots of Bury St Edmunds since around 1065. With similar roots to Kentwell Hall – another historic Suffolk home you can read more about here – Melford Hall is now home to the Hyde Parker family under ownership of the National Trust.

Whilst it might be suspected that a home passing from abbots during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and being granted by Queen Mary to one of her knights, Melford Hall has enjoyed a series of dramatic episodes over the intervening years. Indeed, it was damaged in an anti-Catholic riot in the seventeenth century and one of the wings was gutted by a fire in 1942 before being rebuilt following the second World War. Though this particular project retained the external Tudor brickwork, the interiors were expertly brought up to the trends of the 1950s.

It was also during the 1950s that the Hall was first opened to the public by Lady Hyde Parker and the south wing became part of a holiday scheme for Polish concentration camp survivors. A decade later, Melford came under National Trust ownership and opened up for public visits on weekend afternoons in April and October, and on afternoons from Wednesday to Sunday during May to September.  

In addition to being accessible to the public during certain times of the year, the Hall also hosts a range of events, with the most notable being the annual “Big Night Out” to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night as well as the LeeStock Music Festival. It should be mentioned, of course, that Woodfarm Barns and Barges are proud sponsors of the LeeStock Music Festival!

Whether you fancy celebrating firework night in style, or are simply intrigued by the house and its attendant tea room, you can enjoy everything that Melford Hall has to offer when staying at one of our Barns and Barges to rent. Take a look at our current availability to begin planning your trip now.