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Two trees standing in a field which has been harvested of its crop
Walks through the Ickworth Estate offer stunning views all year round | © National Trust Images / Justin Minns

Ickworth Estate | History Walk

With its history traced back to Domesday, Ickworth Estate has quite a story to tell. Originally managed as a working estate, its status today as a pleasure ground dates back only as far as the early 18th Century. Walk with us around this beautiful parkland and let your imagination fly with our stories of its development over the centuries under the care, love and sometimes eccentric attentions of the Hervey’s and St. Edmundsbury Abbey.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Porter's Lodge, grid reference TL8154161537

Step 1

Start by heading towards the Albana walk by taking the path through the Laurel Hedge opposite Porter's Lodge. Continue along through the Walnut Paddock path until you reach two five bar gates.

Step 2

Go through the first gate and turn left until reaching another gate. The area in front of you is the site of the medieval Hamlet of Ickworth the road would have lead down between the Oak trees to St. Mary’s Church.

Step 3

If the field is clear of livestock, continue through the gate; head left down over the field towards Parson's pond. If livestock are present, it will be necessary to retrace your steps back to the beginning of the Albana walk, turning right onto the gravel road heading towards another five bar gate and on to Parson's Pond.

Step 4

Continue down the hill to St. Mary's Church as you do take a glance back to your left and see the Rotunda across the field.

Step 5

At St Mary’s church walk to the back wall and look over the field behind the church yard. This is the site of the Medieval Ickworth Hall. Entre into the church and see the 13th Century Altar with the 14th Century wall painting depicting the Annunciation of Angel Gabriel. Looking up into the roof you will see the Oak Cross above the triple-decker pulpit dating from 1770s. To your right and above is the Hervey family pew constructed in the 1830, below which is the family vault (closed to visitors)

Step 6

Walk back to the road, take the right fork and continue down the hill past the Bothy and Walled Garden until reaching the cross roads. (note: dogs are not allowed into the Walled Garden except assistance dogs). As you walk down the trail on your left you will get a beautiful view across the Linnet Valley. Now cross the bridge and turn right.

Step 7

Walk past the White House and go through the five bar gate and continue along the Linnet Valley for about a mile, before reaching a five bar gate you will see a footbridge.

Step 8

Taking care going down and up the steps, cross the footbridge and keep left which will take you up to the Albana Wood (orange way markers bearing to the right through the trees). You are now at the bottom of the Albana Walk on the Trim Trail.

Step 9

Take the right fork following the orange way markers which leads you to the box hedge and wonderful views across the Linnet Valley. (Bearing left will show a different view of the Albana walk without views, but both routes will eventually take you back to the Porter's Lodge and the end of your walk.)

Step 10

Just before the Fawn Summerhouse (currently under restoration) there is a rare 100 year old Box Tree. Take a moment to have a seat and enjoy the peaceful setting.

Step 11

Keeping to the path which turns inward and soon you will past the old Oak tree that is over 500 years old, its shape is due to past pollarding.

Step 12

Continuing on you will arrive at a junction, bear right and go through the two five bar gates and through the Walnut Paddock on to Porter’s Lodge.

End point

Porter's Lodge, grid reference TL8154161537

Trail map

An OS map of the Ickworth Estate with a trail marked on it
Ickworth Estate History Walk Map, Suffolk | © Ordnance Survey

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