A historical timeline of the Hyde Parker family

The Hyde Parker family at home

From 1812 to today - discover the changes wrought by the Hyde Parker family over the years and how the place came into our hands.

1812: Remodelling

Sir William Parker, 7th Baronet (1769-1830) inherited Melford Hall. He and (afterwards) his brother and heir Sir Hyde Parker, 8th Baronet (1785-1856), commissioned architect Thomas Hopper to remodel a number of the interiors at Melford Hall in an austere Grecian style.

1867: Restoration

Sir William Parker, 9th Baronet (1826-91) introduced his antiquarian tastes to Melford Hall by refurbishing the Great Hall with Jacobean panelling and dark oak antiques. He also restored the room’s traditional mullioned windows.

1890: Entertaining Beatrix Potter

The Reverend Sir William Hyde Parker, 10th Baronet (1863-1931) married Ethel Leech, a cousin of Beatrix Potter. 'Cousin Beattie' often visited Melford, trying out her famous stories on the Hyde Parker children.

1930s: Modernisation

Sir William Hyde Parker, 11th Baronet (1892-1951) modernised a number of services at the house, including introducing electric lighting in the Great Saloon, Drawing Room and Dining Room. A hands-on man, he farmed much of the estate himself during the agricultural depression.

1942: Fire at Melford

He also commissioned Sir Albert Richardson to restore the North Wing following the disastrous fire.

1951: Lady Ulla

On her husband's death, Lady Ulla Hyde Parker was determined to keep the estate together. She eventually transferred the home and some of the principal contents, along with 130 acres of the park, to the Treasury in lieu of death duties.

1960: Into our hands

Melford Hall and garden were passed to us to be preserved on behalf of the nation.

1970s: The Hyde Parkers today

Sir Richard Hyde Parker, 12th Baronet, and his wife Jeanie made their home in the South Wing. They continue to live at Melford Hall with their family.