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

Autumn: a celebration

Wed 23 Oct 2019
A celebration of all those things we love about autumn. Come to Melford Hall to enjoy pumpkin carving, a garden trail and autumn crafts to take home.

Beatrix Potter - The Melford Hall Connection

Wed 23 Oct 2019
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.

Books - a Friday afternoon talk

Fri 25 Oct 2019
Our Friday afternoon talks provide unique insights into the many facets of our collection at Melford Hall.

Tales from the High Seas

Sat 26 Oct 2019
Join one of our naval history experts as he recounts tales of the Hyde Parker naval exploits

Art revealed by torchlight.... Hidden depths of Melford Hall's paintings.

Sat 26 Oct 2019
An opportunity to view some of our paintings as they have never been seen before.

Conservation in action

Wed 30 Oct 2019
Meet our conservation staff and volunteers who will demonstrate and explain the work that goes to keep the collections at Melford Hall looking their best