Whether you’re a fan of anything grand and stately or you just wish to take a peek of the best from the past, a visit to some of the England’s historic and stately houses, palaces and castles will definitely make you want to fall in love with the years of yore. Here are five of the best historic houses in England’s Eastern Counties now operated by the National Trust.
The eccentric earl of Bristol, also, bishop of Derry, created this equally eccentric house, started in 1795 to display his collections. The paintings include works by Titian, Gainsborough and Velasquez and the magnificent Georgian silver collections is displayed in the oval Rotunda which is linked by curved corridors to flanking wings. The house is surrounded by an Italianate garden and set in a “Capability” Brown park with several waymarked woodland walks, a deer enclosure with hide and an adventure playground. The house has been extensively redecorated and the paintings hugs in their original places in the staterooms.
Visit Ickworth House
The Rotunda, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP29 5QE
Telephone: 01284 735270
A turreted brick Tudor mansion, little changed since 1578 with the original paneled banqueting hall, an 18th century drawing room, a Regency library and a Victorian bedroom, showing fine furniture and Chinese porcelain. There is also a special Beatrix Potter display and a garden. A walk in the park is also available.
Visit Melford Hall
Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9AA
Telephone: 01787 379228
This moated house was built c1482 by the Bedingfield Family, who still live here. The rooms show the development from medieval austerity to Victorian comfort, with embroidery worked by Mary, Queen of Scots, during her captivity on display. The magnificent Tudor gatehouse rises 25 meters above the moat, and the garden includes the laws, fine trees, colorful borders and a French parterre. There are also delightful woodland walks, including a new two-mile walk through Home Covert.
Visit Oxburgh Hall
Oxborough, near Swaffham, Norfolk, PE33 9PS
Telephone: 01366 328258
A vast fortified tower built c. 1440 for Ralph Cromwell, Lord Treasurer of England. The castle is an important example of an early brick building, with a tower containing state apartments, rescued from dereliction and restored by Lord Curzon from 1911-1914. Four great chambers with ancillary rooms contain the late Gothic fireplaces and brick vaulting. There are tapestries; information displays in turret. Lincoln Cathedral and Boston Stump are visible from 33-meter high settlements on clear days.
Visit Tattershall Castle
Sleaford Road, Tattershall, Lincolnshire, LN4 4LR
Telephone: 01526 342543
This magnificent 18th-century house has a fine interior which is both intimate and formal, with work by Gibbs, Flitcroft and Sloane. Servants’ quarters include the housekeeper’s room, butler’s pantry, steward’s room and a servant’s bedroom. A 142-hectare park, landscaped by Bridgman, Brown and Repton, includes a grand folly, Chinese bridge, lakes and extensive walks. Heavy horses operate from the Victorian stable block to the farm.
Visit Wimpole Hall
Arrington, Royston, Cambridgeshire, SG8 0BW
Telephone: 01223 206000