Restoring a Georgian gatehouse to new heights

Exterior of Horringer Park Gates holiday cottage

A Georgian Grade II listed gatehouse, Horringer Park Gates stands at the entrance to Ickworth estate in Suffolk.

Over the past year, we’ve undertaken major conservation work to help safeguard this special place. Sensitively restored into a welcoming holiday cottage, Horringer Park Gates can now be enjoyed for generations to come. 

Built around 1825, the first known resident of Horringer Park Gates was Martha Adkins, who lived there as gatekeeper of Ickworth.

Remarkably unaltered since it was Martha's home nearly two hundred years ago, the cottage was in desperate need of repair. So we led a project to refurbish the gatehouse and protect its many historic features.

Uncovering the past

With more original features than any other estate building at Ickworth, we were committed to preserving as much of Horringer Park Gates’s historic character as possible.

The project team investigated every detail of the cottage before starting the work. They looked at everything from the original fabric of the furnishings to the colour and makeup of the paint finishes. 

Wherever possible we repaired rather than replaced, conserving as much of the original structure, fixtures and fittings as we could.

Bringing it back to life

One of the historic feature saved during the restoration was the cottage’s oriel windows. With their gothic diamond design, oriel windows are thought to have originated back in medieval times. 

Although the window glass was in good shape, the surrounding wooden timbers were rotten and crumbling. But by carefully replacing the wood, we were able to bring these beautiful windows back to life. 

The sitting room of Horringer Park Gates showing the restored oriel windows
The sitting room of Horringer Park Gates holiday cottage
The sitting room of Horringer Park Gates showing the restored oriel windows

What’s more, when decorating the interior of the cottage, the team chose fabrics to compliment the unusual way light reflects at different angles through the diamonds in the windows.

Sympathetic design

Inside, the cottage was kitted out with modern conveniences to ensure a comfortable stay, but carefully chosen to be in keeping with the original style of the building. 

These touches included installing an old fashioned Belfast sink and Everhot oven into the kitchen and using the traditional red clay tile flooring of the area throughout much of the downstairs.

The kitchen at Horringer Park Gates
The kitchen at Horringer Park Gates
The kitchen at Horringer Park Gates

This meticulous restoration even extended outside to the garden. Old photos of the cottage were sought out so that Ickworth’s head gardener could landscape the gardens to match the original layout as much as possible. 

A new life

With the renovations now complete, Horringer Park Gates has been opened up as a spacious holiday cottage.

Why not book a holiday and discover this historic property for yourself?