Kentwell Hall

Kentwell Hall is situated at the north end of the Suffolk village of Long Melford. It has been the home of Patrick and Judith Phillips and their family for over 30 years.

Kentwell Hall - Aerial View Kentwell Hall - Interior

Each summer they hold the Great Annual Re-Creation, where visitors leave the present day through a time-tunnel and return to a year in the late 15th or early 16th Centuries. Many aspects of life are portrayed; of the gentry and serving-folk alike. As the household goes about its daily business, at leisure or hard at work according to rank, visitors may observe the proceedings and speak to the participants.

But remember, they know nothing of life in the 21st Century. They may be startled by their visitors' "pocket lightning" (camera flash), puzzled at the sight of women wearing trousers and amazed at the casual behaviour of our children.

Kentwell Hall - Re-Creation Scenes

Kentwell Hall - Plan

Making Hay at Kentwell - 1487

I took this photograph at the Annual Re-Creation of 1985. Its title is "Making Hay at Kentwell - 1487".

Not all Re-Creations are set in Tudor times. Since 1995 some have featured the era of the Second World War. See Kentwell Hall 1940 for some photos from a Re-Creation of the year of the Battle of Britain.

We thoroughly recommend a visit to Kentwell Hall. There's a lot to see, even when there's no Re-Creation. The Phillips family has spent a lot of time and money restoring the property since they arrived in 1971. The house had had a succession of owners and had settled into genteel decay. Indeed, the previous owner had lived in only a few of its rooms.

As well as the house, you can visit the Moat House, explore the timber framed buildings which house the Kentwell Rare Breed Farm animals, wander through the woods or stroll in the gardens - including the moated Walled Garden.

You may take light refreshments or a full meal. Kentwell's own produce is used wherever possible, including organically-reared meat. There is a gift shop and, mercifully, modern toilet facilities.

There is a full programme of events, not only the Re-Creations but also open-air Shakespeare - performed on the lawn in mid-summer - and a Christmas Choral Concert. For more details, telephone 01787 310207 (outside the UK - (+44) 1787 310207).

Kentwell is the ancestral home of the Clopton family, the builders of Kentwell in early Tudor times. If you're interested in the family's history and its descendants, you'll enjoy visiting the Clopton Family Home Page and the Clopton Family Genalogical Society.

We recommend that you also visit the official Kentwell Hall web site and the Long Melford village web site, www.longmelford.co.uk.

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