Exploring Ickworth

Visitors on tour guide Ickworth

Ickworth House was designed to impress and entertain on a grand scale. It was built as an 18th century palace to showcase the many treasures and art collected by the Earl Bishop. Visitors can explore Ickworth with daily tours.

Life below Stairs - Discover the different staff that lived and worked at Ickworth in the 1930s. Learn how Mrs Sangster ran the kitchen whilst keeping her recipes top secret, explore the role of the Hall boy and learn about the 4th Marquesses friendship with estate engineer Jack Honeyball.

Torchlight - Ickworth houses one of the finest collections of 18th century family portraits in the National Trust by renowned artists such as Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Hogarth. Using our ‘magic torches’ discover another side to our magnificent paintings and learn how they came to be at Ickworth.

'Conservation Sneak Peek' - These tours are a ‘unique sneak peek’ for those lucky enough to attend them.  Tours of the ground floor State Rooms offer a rare opportunity to see conservation work on our collections as it happens. You’ll be able to meet our Conservation Assistants and learn more about what we do behind the scenes at Ickworth to help ensure our precious collections remain in a stable condition, year in, year out.

Our Conservation Assistant protecting our collection for the future
Kirsty conservation cleaning

Ickworth Voices - Explore the unique experience of hearing the voices of many of the people who lived and worked at Ickworth in the 1930’s. Listen to their living conditions, their relationships with one another and with their employers, the Hervey family. Learn about the social changes that were happening at the time and the changing attitudes of the people who worked “in service”.

Ickworth is full of treasures such as these exquisite silver fish scent bottles
A selection of tiny silver scent bottles in the shape of fish

Walled Garden at 12pm (Weds & Weekends)- Wander around the largest Walled Garden in the East of England - 5.5 acres of seasonal wildflower meadow, vegetable beds and fruit trees. Learn how the garden and estate produced enough food to supply the family, staff, tenants and villagers and the local hospital during the two World Wars.

Italianate Garden at 1.30pm- Explore the immaculate Italianate gardens at Ickworth encircle the stunning Rotunda. The earliest surviving example of their kind, the 1st Marquess designed the gardens as pleasure grounds for his family and guests to enjoy.

The ever changing walled garden and canal lake are wonderful places for a picnic
A view of the walled garden and canal lake

All tours subject to availability – self-led by volunteers.