What’s on at Kentwell Hall
Kentwell hosts a variety of events and family days throughout the year, during which time the regular garden and house visit booking is unavailable.
Booking in the event will allow access to the gardens and depending on the event, certain areas of the house but not all.
Please check with our events calendar below before booking your visit.
- Open to the public
- Special event open to the public
- Pre-booked for schools and home educators
The House itself will usually be open on House & Gardens Open Days a little less than the Gardens are. Today from Noon to 4:00pm.
The moated Hall was built in brick in three distinct phases mainly between about 1490 and about 1530 by John Clopton (d 1497), main rebuilder Melford Church, and his son, Sir William Clopton (d 1530).
Architecturally important as the House clearly illustrates the transition from a medieval Hall House (as the Centre Block was) to an Open Courtyard layout by the successive addition of two surprisingly long wings. It retains its basic Tudor layout.
In 1578 Sir William's great grandson added a Long Gallery with square headed windows over the Centre Block. Exterior little altered since until in the 18th C the roof line over the Centre Block was lowered which destroyed the Long Gallery but the towers were heightened with great benefit to the House's overall appearance.
The Moat round the platform of the House long predates it. Fashionably brick-lined by John Clopton in the 1480s and upon it built the striking part timber frame part brick with its defensive projecting tower. This was a service building for the then House.
The Moat originally turned north at the SE Octagon with the later East Wing standing upon its inner wall. The moat continued north to join that surrounding what is now the Walled Garden where it still survives.. Later, the section of the Moat close to the East Wing was filled in and extensions in narrower width added finally to encompass the Cedar Lawn.
The Interior Of the Hall
This was little altered until then owner Richard Moore in the Georgian manner replaced much oak panelling and flooring with fashionable pine. More noticeably, he re-fashioned the West Wing and all he probably did to the other was In 1825 there was lost in major improvements to the Centre and East Wings much in the Gothick style by architect Thomas Hopper for new owner, Hart Logan. Hopper claimed to be master of all styles from the Norman and exercised several at Kentwell. Most notably Gothick are his near cube dining room in the Jacobethan manner and his Baronial Great Hall. Elsewhere he raised ground floor ceilings in making more classical rooms ground floor rooms (butat cost to the rooms above).
The House has been further improved by Patrick Phillips since 1971. In the West Wing restoring its Tudor core. Elsewhere in his own way improving upon Hopper, most notably in the state rooms and main Stair.
Features include some outstanding armorial and other early stained glass, Hopper's fine fire surrounds and his 1825 underfloor heating grilles and the Phillips’s stunning murals. Each room presents a surprise from the last.
Patrick Phillips started with an empty House and has added all that visitors now see which include a fine suite of tapestries telling the biblical story of Tobit & Tobias and some notable needlework panels worked by volunteers during Re-Creations. There's an extensive collection of portraits of Tudor notables. and a rare pair of massive leather screens illustrating the Coronation procession of Edward VI.
The Phillipses do not favour manicured Gardens but ones that provide a haven of tranquility and beauty in a challenging world,. Here visitors can lose themselves in the moment with seats placed to encourage mindfulness accompanied by a Zen Master's thoughts.
Everywhere dominated by the mellow red brickwork of the Hall and the Moats. Six Cedars planted in 1800 grew to form a rare imposing stand so close to the House. One was lost early replaced by a London Plane. Another was destroyed in the 1987 hurricane and in 2000 was sculpted as the Tower of Babel.
Yew dominates, now much clipped into shape in the form of majestic pillars and massive domes. Smaller topiary includes the unique Pied Piper hedge designed, created and for over 30 years clipped by Judith Phillips.
The Phillips's works and plantings include the major cross Avenues, the re-instated Icehosue & Mount, the Yew Castle, the Magic Hornbeam Circle, the Sunken Garden Mixed Border, Potage, Herbary and long Millennium Nut Walk.
The newly created classical influenced Temple defined by ancient sandalwood pillars now dominates the Rose Garden.
Read more about the Wellness Walk.
February and early March — lovely snowdrop walk and the trees.especially our espaliered fruit trees bare of leaves display the architecture of their trunks & limbs..
March/April — drifts of massed daffodils dominate the lawns. Much Yew and Pine means the Gardens are never without colour.
May - blossom on the trees, plentiful cowslips and primroses. Trees coming into leaf
June — the lime trees unfurl their leaves with for a couple of weeks an unmatchably delicate green which soon darkens, water lilies, in a good year cowparsley creates a sea of white and bluebells (ours in a wood repay the longish walk) and of course the mixed border of the Sunken Garden with its gorgeous peonies.
July — Roses in the Rose Garden and especially American Pillar bedecking the moat walls; wildflowers especially plentiful wild pillar orchids and occasionally if lucky you may see a bee orchid.
August and September — roses and 50+ apple variety and similar pear fruit trees in fruit.
October/November — glorious autumn colours .
December/January — dieback everywhere and the beauty of the bar landscape.
Dress & choose your footwear for the weather : click here for a Met Office Kentwell specific weather forecast for Kentwell. ~Go to the eraser picture which if rain clouds are broken may well show they'll miss Kentwell.
Please pre-book your tickets on-line (at any time up to the day of your visit). You can buy tickets at the Gate too! Last Entry: for Gardens half hour before closing; for House 20 mins before it closes.
Season Ticket holders or Historic Houses members should also book tickets on-line.
The Tearoom: will be open until 15 minutes before Gardens closing time.
Accessibility: the majority of the gardens are reasonably accessible by wheelchair in good weather but less so when the underfoot is muddy.
Disabled Visitor Prices: for registered disabled visitors and their carers:
Dogs: no dogs, except guide dogs, are permitted within the grounds.
Cancellations or refunds: We operate a no-refunds policy for all Open Days. Tickets are not transferrable to other days, or to other events.
Unexpected closing Please always check our website before travelling to check we are Open.