Tales of Beatrix Potter at Melford Hall

The original toy used by Beatrix Potter to create Jemima Puddleduck

Just what is Beatrix Potter's connection with Melford Hall?

Family connections

Beatrix Potter was the cousin of Ethel, Lady Hyde Parker, grandmother of Sir Richard Hyde Parker, the present Baronet of Melford Hall. She visited here on many occasions and painted a series of watercolours of the house. The visitors' book contains numerous signatures and sketches, which mark her visits to the house.
The collections at Melford Hall include several of her soft toys, which served as models for her illustrations.

Beatrix Potter's bedroom

Beatrix Potter slept in the West Bedroom when she stayed at Melford Hall. The room is furnished as it would have been when she frequently visited, with a Victorian bed and furniture.

To the amusement of the Hyde Parker children she would bring her small animals on her visits to the Hall and house them in the adjoining turret room (which can be seen through the open door).

" When we were children we just loved it when she (Beatrix) arrived, for she always brought a cage with mice, another with a hamster or a porcupine and a third with something else in it. It was such fun for all us children."
- William Hyde Parker

The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck was based on real-life events in the farmyard at Beatrix Potter’s home at Hill Top in the Lake District.

The duck pond in the same tale is based upon an illustration Beatrix Potter drew for the Jeremy Fisher stories when visiting her relatives at Melford Hall.


On display today

The Beatrix Potter Room at Melford Hall displays watercolours and drawings by Beatrix Potter. A model of Jemima Puddle-Duck is also on display, given as a present from Beatrix Potter to the Hyde Parker children.

Upcoming events

Beatrix Potter - The Melford Hall Connection

Wed 29 Mar 2017
An exhibition, in our Banqueting House, of facsimile sketches by Beatrix Potter. These sketches drawn whilst visiting her cousins, the Hyde Parkers, are inspired by Melford Hall and the surrounding area.

Beatrix Potter story readings

Wed 05 Apr 2017
Get carried away by the magical adventures of Peter Rabbit and his friends as written by Beatrix Potter and narrated by one of our story tellers

Melford Hall's Railway Walk

Sat 08 Apr 2017
A popular guided walk taking in some railway history as well as the natural beauty of the Suffolk countryside.

Cadbury's Easter Egg Hunt

Fri 14 Apr 2017
Hunt your Cadbury Easter eggs at Melford Hall

Three Mills Walk

Sat 22 Apr 2017
A new guided walk along the the old railway line and taking in three water mills as well as Sudbury's famous water meadows

Melford Hall's Railway Walk

Sat 20 May 2017
A popular guided walk taking in some railway history as well as the natural beauty of the Suffolk countryside.