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Pictures of Melford Hall

a Historic Building in the town of Long Melford, in the county of Suffolk

About Melford Hall

The octagonal towers with their stately onion domes rise above this russet brick building towards the broad Suffolk skies. Melford Hall is a handsome house of the 16th century, it was built for Sir William Cordell, a man of considerable fortune who became Speaker of the House of Commons and Master of the Rolls. The house originally belonged to the Benedictine monks at Bury St.Edmunds. Following the dissolution of the monasteries the house and land was granted to Sir William. He maintained some of the old building, but is responsible for the splendid facade of the house with its two great wings flanking the central courtyard.

Queen Elizabeth I visited Melford in 1578 when she was entertained on a grand scale. Today, the house still possess the charm and warmth of those days, and in spite of various owners making slight changes, the house remains largely unaltered.

Melford Hall suffered during the Civil War, and centuries later in the 20th century a fire of 1942 took its toll, but overall the house and its contents reflect the changing times, tastes and history of its occupants so that visitors get a real feel for what this great house must have looked like during every stage of its history.

The House changed hands in 1786. It was purchased by Sir Harry Parker a member of a family with Naval traditions. The Parkers enhanced rooms with paintings from their exploits and memorabilia brought back from foreign shores.

In a series of fascinating rooms visitors can see Chinese porcelain, paintings of both the Cordell and Parker families, 18th and 19th century naval paintings, and a collection of objects belonging to Beatrix Potter who was a frequent visitor to the house. Her cousin was the wife of the 10th Baronet.

There is a small garden with lawns sweeping to the brick wall bordering the road. Parts of the old moat form an attractive sunken garden and there is a bowling green terrace.

Melford Hall was given to the National Trust in part payment of death duties owed to the Treasury in 1960. Until then it had remained the property of the Parker family.

The house is open to the public from April until September.

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