Does Kentwell have the world's most testing quiz?

You may polish off The Times Crossword puzzle in three minutes, answer all the questions easily in TV quizzes and find the wall and other challenges in Only Connect a doddle. But have you ever tried the Kentwell Hall Easter Quiz?

The Quiz has been going for more than 20 years and attracts regular quizzers each year. Competing, usually in teams, to win a giant Easter Egg. It claims to be among the most testing quizzes anywhere.

So whatʼs it like and why is it so testing?

“Its a trial of observation and wit,” says Patrick Phillips who sets the quizzes.”The observation part of it is to answer the questions relevant to Kentwell. “That may not be as easy as it seems as part of the challenge is to understand the question. Until you have done that you are in no position to find the answer.”

The answers to the questions that relate to Kentwell are not only to be found in the House but also in its extensive Gardens & Grounds too. “Some teams maintain contact by cell- phone to advise when they have found an answer. Some teams are very high tech,” says Patrick Phillips.

Many other questions are collected together under the heading ʻRiddles & Teasersʼ. What are they?

“Anything not necessarily connected with Kentwell,” answers Patrick Phillips, “including rather poor riddles of my own devising.”

Some visitors come back year after year and spend all four days of the Easter Holiday pummeling their brains (and maybe consulting encyclopedia).

“Its a challenge between me and the competitors,” claims Patrick Phillips. “No-one has ever got close to full marks but a winning score is usually about 80% or a little more.”

Are competitors told the answers?

“Oh no. I use some questions year, after year until enough people have found the answer. Then I retire it for a few years.”

So after struggling for days do competitors go away unsatisfied?

“Its taking part that counts,” remarks Patrick Phillips unhelpfully.

Would he give a sample of his questions?

Reluctantly he gives two.

  • A Kentwell question: What are 18 holes entirely surrounded by wood ?

  • A teaser: Who ran the first four minute mile?

The answers?

For that you need to visit Kentwell!

The house and grounds are open over Easter from Good Friday until Easter Monday, as well as this quiz we have one for children and 120 Tudors celebrating Easter Tudor-style.

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All images and text © Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9BA