Somerleyton Hall is widely regarded as one of the best examples of an archetypal Tudor-Jacobean mansion and one of the most beautiful stately homes in Britain whose rooms and gardens are open to the public. The highlights of the house include:
The gardens at Somerleyton Hall include a walled garden where you will find ornate iron and glass greenhouses designed by Joseph Paxton, the architect of Crystal Palace; an 80’ pergola with some old wisteria; roses; clematis and vines. Adjacent to this is one of the finest yew hedge mazes in Britain, designed and planted in 1846 by William Nesfield. - if no mistakes are made the journey to the centre and back is nearly 800 yards, but is usually found to be a lot longer !
There is a collection of some wonderful specimen trees including a Eucalyptus Gunii; monkey puzzle, tulip trees, giant redwood and London Plane. In front of the Hall - topiary and rose beds and in the tunnel garden you will find our Bygones Museum with a small collection of gardening memorabilia.
The arboreal part of the gardens features rhododendrons, azaleas and a fine collection of specimen trees.
Group visits, private tours & picnics Group visits welcome on public open days by prior arrangement (20+) at discounted rate A wide variety of private tours of the Hall and gardens can be arranged throughout the year but please contact us in advance to arrange a suitable date and time. Somerletyon Hall has many designated picnic areas with parking available. For more information about group visits, private tours and picnic areas, please call us on 01502 734901.
Please also note that most areas of the Hall and gardens are wheelchair accessible. Dogs except for guide dogs are not allowed in any areas of the Hall and gardens.
The Entrance Hall Clad in richly carved oak with green-veined Devon marble panels, this striking space is notable for its highly patterned Minton floor tiles and an unusually coloured stained-glass dome ceiling..
The Ballroom Formerly a huge banqueting hall, decorated in deep crimson damask wallpaper, contrasted with white sculptured marble, elaborate gilding and finished with an elegantly designed ceiling
The Library Currently used as a family sitting room which was originally a banqueting hall with a twenty-eight feet high ceiling covered with elaborate plaster motifs as decoration and featuring a huge alabaster fireplace.
The Dining Room Hung with family memorabilia, oil paintings, and a signature Crossley carpet on the floor. The carpet in characteristic deep pink, was commissioned by the present Lord Somerleyton (the great grandson of the carpet mogul Sir Francis Crossley) and designed by his cousin Nick Crossley.
History of Somerleyton Hall The grounds of Somerleyton Hall have been home to high status buildings since the post conquest Norman era. In 1240 the existing manorial Hall was rebuilt by Sir Peter Fitzosbert as a magnificent country house on the site of the original medieval Hall.
Four centuries later the house was further enlarged and restyled by John Wentworth and transformed into an archetypal East Anglian Tudor-Jacobean mansion.
The Hall’s final and most significant alteration took place in 1843 under new ownership of a wealthy Victorian entrepreneur Samuel Morton Peto who hired John Thomas, Prince Albert’s favourite sculptor, to carry out extensive rebuilding.
Carved Caen stone was used to dress the exterior red brick of the original house, sumptuous materials utilised to embellish the interiors, paintings commissioned for the house and the parkland was completely transformed and redesigned.
This flurry of activities came to an abrupt end when the money ran out and Samuel Morton Peto went bankrupt. The house was sold to Sir Francis Crossley, the son of a Yorkshire-based carpet manufacturer who purchased the Somerleyton estate in 1863. Since mid-19th century the estate has remained in the hands of the Crossley family who are continuing to play an active role in the conservation of the house and grounds and enjoy living in this magnificent mansion.
Contact Somerleyton on 01502 734901