Your visit to Melford Hall

Although the Hall is over five hundred years old on the outside, the interior tells a very different story - one of fortunes gained and lost, illustrious visitors and disasters both natural and deliberate. What underpins these stories is how different families and successive generations have enjoyed and loved the house so that it has survived as a unique family home. Our visitors tell us that they particularly enjoy the house’s family atmosphere, its characters and its stories. The Hyde Parker family is still in residence today and working with National Trust staff and volunteers to ensure you get the most out of your visit to Melford Hall. Whether you’d like to relax on a sofa in the Great Hall and soak up the atmosphere or stretch your legs on one of the guided walks or simply potter in the garden, Melford Hall has something for everyone

Painting of Sir Thomas Savage

Hunt the Savages 

Sir Thomas and Lady Elizabeth (later Countess Rivers) Savage owned Melford Hall in the early 17th century. Mixing with the wealthiest and most powerful people in the country, they transformed the house into an elegant and comfortable country residence within easy reach of the royal court. While their impact on the gardens has largely disappeared, you can still imagine them bringing their guests to the Banqueting House for dessert while the servants cleared the Great Hall, or perhaps playing bowls on the bowling green. Watch out for their portraits hanging in the Gallery...and guess how many children they had!

Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, 5th Baronet

A touch of the Orient 

Visitors are surprised by the amount of 18th century Chinese porcelain displayed throughout the house which, even more surprisingly, has survived generations of children and natural disasters. While you may expect the collection to have belonged to a keen collector, it was all captured from the Spanish on the high seas on one day by a naval captain whose son bought Melford Hall. Find the captain’s portrait in the Dining Room and discover the other objects he captured!

Rocking horse at Melford Hall, Suffolk

Melford Hall's games and trails 

We all know about 50 Things to do before you are 11 and 3/4, but we also have some activities to appeal to different age groups

The original toy used by Beatrix Potter to create Jemima Puddleduck

Cousin Beattie 

Beatrix Potter visited her cousin at Melford Hall many times - you’ll see the room she used and the gifts she left behind. Of these by far the most popular with visitors is Jemima Puddleduck who is now over a hundred years old. Make sure you find her in the Nursery.... and watch out for the glamorous portrait of Beatrix’s cousin on the North Staircase!

stained glass window at Melford Hall Sufolk

Vivat Regina 

Of all Melford Hall’s visitors, Queen Elizabeth I must be the most famous.

Ceramic miniatures, Melford Hall, Suffolk