Statlely home in Suffolk

The Fascinating Story of one of Suffolk’s Largest Stately Homes

Situated in Long Melford – roughly forty five minutes drive from our Barns for rent in Suffolk – Kentwell Hall is a stately home open to the public throughout the year. With origins dating back to the Domesday Book of 1086, the home has appeared in various film and television productions over the years, and has a rich history that makes it well worth visiting during a holiday in the area.

Hard as it may be to believe, the earliest record of Kentwell Hall states that the manor belonged to the property of Frodo, the brother to Abbot Baldwin of St Edmund’s – back then, it was known as Kanewella, an Old English name. Whilst the Domesday Book describes in great detail how the manor was home to plenty of livestock, the next 300 years or so are patchy at best when it comes to its owners. Despite such scant detail, it appears that it was granted by King Henry III to Sir William de Valence who eventually passed it down to a number of poets and gentry following his death in battle in France back in 1296.  

Eventually ending up in the hands of the Clopton family in 1404, Kentwell Hall found itself with owners that would take care of it for over three hundred years. During this time, the family implemented a number of changes that would later come to define this fascinating manor house. From the hall itself to the moat, the property took on an impressive facade that continues to attract visitors today.

With the family fortune in decline, the tenure of the Cloptons came to an end in the 17th century, marked by the sale of Kentwell Hall to a lawyer in 1681. During his ownership, this lawyer would plant the mile-long avenue of lime trees that border the driveway, as well as an update to the interior which was crowned by the construction of an open-well staircase in the east wing. Seemingly blighted by a tragic curse, the lawyer lost his life jumping out of a window to escape a fire. His son, who inherited Kentwell Hall, passed away the following year. The third baronet would then sell the property to Sir John Moore to pay off growing gambling debts in 1685.  

From the 17th century through to the 19th, records of Kentwell Hall again become a little hazy, with the only confirmed facts being that typical Georgian features were added around the interior. Fast becoming a living record of English history thanks to all of its feature pieces, the hall passed over to Robert Hart Logan in 1823. Enjoying a mere three years without any major dramas, the Logan family suffered from a house fire in 1826 which inflicted major damage to many areas of the interior.

Transforming tragedy into beauty, Logan refactored the damaged interior to feature elements of Scottish Baronial, Gothic, and English Jacobean. These elements can still be observed when visiting today and the Jacobean arches are one of the principal highlights of the manor. Like many of its previous owners, Logan also fell into debt and eventually sold the property to the Starkie Bence family who let Kentwell Hall to a number of esteemed tenants which included the celebrated racing driver Dick Seaman. In terms of updates to Kentwell Hall, it was chiefly the gardens which experienced the biggest change.

Providing another interesting chapter to its story, the second world war saw Kentwell Hall become a military transit camp that was home to British airborne troops prior to D-Day. Later on in the century, the manor house was sold to Patrick and Judith Phillips who still use the house as their home following significant repairs and restorations.

Today, Kentwell Hall and its gardens are open to the public and hosts a number of events throughout the year that make it a fantastic stop to make when enjoying a holiday in Suffolk. To enjoy Kentwell Hall as part of your holiday, and to find out even more about this fascinating manor, be sure to take a look at the availability of our Barns and Barges for rent.

Reasons to Stay at Woodfarm, Suffolk

We happen to think what we have on offer is pretty bloomin' good. However, we thought you might like a bunch of reasons to stay, other than we think you should!

all accommodation

Brilliant beaches! Suffolk has an incredible Heritage Coast, with great beaches, all in easy reach of us.

all accommodation

Dogs stay FREE, and we don't just tolerate them, we welcome them! We've built our reputation on this, and we're proud of it!

at the barns

Pawesome, fully-enclosed two acre Pooch Paddock for your Dogs to go bonkers and make new friends in.

all accommodation

Free Doggy treats, Dog bowls, and Dog towels. Our furry friends even get Woodfarm branded poop bag holders!

all accommodation

Visit England Gold Awards coming out of our ears, as well as their coveted ROSE Award for Service Excellence.

all accommodation

Well in excess of 1,000 Five Star Tripadvisor, Facebook & Google Reviews. Over 25% of our guests come back!

all accommodation

Private Hot tubs with seven of our eight Barns and Cottages. The ultimate in relaxation, just because you're worth it.

all accommodation

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Yes, plural. Two AONB's on our doorstep! Suffolk Coast & Heaths, and Dedham Vale.

on the barges

Stunning river walks directly from your gangplank on either Barge! Wildlife and breathtaking scenery in abundance.

Fetch the latest news!

Antica Laconda di Sesto

Antica Locanda Di Sesto

Antica Locanda Di Sesto is a superb, family run restaurant just 15 minutes or so from Casa Trebbio. I discovered this wonderful restaurant when I was out there with my old schoolmate and award winning …

Entrance to Euronics car park in Lucca

Parking in Lucca

Lucca is my favourite city on the planet. There may be better ones in other opinions, but it’s my favourite out of all those I’ve visited. Parking can be daunting though, so here’s my suggestion …

Five Star Tripadvisor review of Woodfarm Barns

Reviews of the month

We have well in excess of 1,200 Five Star reviews on Tripadvisor, Facebook, and Google. Here’s our favourites from the last month Five Star Tripadvisor review “Just the most amazing long weekend”.  Left on May …

Join our newsletter for £50 OFF your first break!

Please provide a valid email address.
* indicates required