Somerleyton Hall is one of the most lavish country houses in East Anglia, indeed in England. Beautiful architecture and antique furniture, trademark Crossley carpets, a distinct and pleasing ‘lived-in’ feel, and a yew maze of mind-boggling ingenuity provides huge appeal. You can enjoy 12 acres of gardens and parkland, which feature a walled garden full of ornate and impressive greenhouses, collections of species of flowers and trees. For the youngesters there is a willow play area. Highlights of the hall include the lavishly wood-panelled entrance hall, a beautiful ballroom with sculpted marble features, a splendid dining room and a grand library. The hall dates back to 1240 when nobleman Peter Fitzosbert had a manor house built on the site, and over the course of the next few centuries it grew in size. In 1604, the house was bought by entrepreneur John Wentworth who turned it into a beautiful Tudor-Jacobean mansion. Over the years it has had many owners, including Sir Thomas Allin (1612–85), an admiral who fought in the English Civil War, and Sir Samuel Morton Peto, an MP and wealthy businessman. Peto adored Italian architecture and gardens, and over the course of the next few years had extensive work done at Somerleyton Hall to transform it into the Anglo-Italian masterpiece standing in immaculately sculpted gardens you can see today. The estate was later owned by Sir Francis Crossley (1817–72), an MP and famous carpet manufacturer, who was created a baronet for services to industry. Today, the estate is owned and lived in by the fourth Baron Somerleyton, Hugh Crossley.
Awards, Accolades & welcome Schemes
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Parking onsite
- Some paths may be difficult for wheelchair users after rain
- Facilities: Ramps, wheelchairs
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Hall & gardens open 13 Apr–28 Sep, Tue-Thu, Sun & BHs 10-5 (Wed garden only). Please check website for details
Also in the Area
About The area
Suffolk is Constable country, where the county’s crumbling, time-ravaged coastline spreads itself under wide skies to convey a wonderful sense of remoteness and solitude. Highly evocative and atmospheric, this is where rivers wind lazily to the sea and notorious 18th-century smugglers hid from the excise men. John Constable immortalised these expansive flatlands in his paintings in the 18th century, and his artwork raises the region’s profile to this day.
Walking is one of Suffolk’s most popular recreational activities. It may be flat but the county has much to discover on foot – not least the isolated Heritage Coast, which can be accessed via the Suffolk Coast Path. Southwold, with its distinctive, white-walled lighthouse standing sentinel above the town and its colourful beach huts and attractive pier features on many a promotional brochure. Much of Suffolk’s coastal heathland is protected as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and shelters several rare creatures including the adder, the heath butterfly and the nightjar. In addition to walking, there is a good choice of cycling routes but for something less demanding, visit some of Suffolk’s charming old towns, with streets of handsome, period buildings and picturesque, timber-framed houses.
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