Our Favourite Archaeology in Suffolk – Gardens and parkland at Ickworth House

Photograph of the gardens and parkland at Ickworth House

Featured Image: Ickworth gardens and parkland. Source: National Trust

We continue with our blog series showcasing some of our favourite archaeology in Suffolk. This week, we explore the beautiful Ickworth gardens, parkland and house with Grace.

Grace is the Archaeological Officer (HER) and has been a part of the SCCAS team since 2016. Day to day she updates and maintains the Suffolk Historic Environment Record and responds to commercial and public enquires.

One of my favourite sites in Suffolk is the gardens and parkland at Ickworth House, which is a Grade I listed 18th century country house. The park and gardens are Grade II* listed. A deer park was built in the 13th century and Ickworth Hall, which was located to the east of the Church of St Mary, was built in the late 15th/early 16th century. As you walk down from the house past the church towards the walled garden you pass through the subtle earthworks of the deserted medieval village. The hall was demolished in the early 18th century to make way for the current house. Little remains of these earlier structures, however some earthworks are visible that may date from this time. The summerhouse in the walled garden was built in 1703, while the medieval hall was still present.

The construction for the current house started in 1796 and took 47 years to complete. The work was supervised by Francis Sandys who was also responsible for the Athenaeum in nearby Bury St Edmunds. The park and gardens also have a link with Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the well-known landscape designer, who was involved in the redesign at Ickworth in the 18th century.

Almost 800 years of history can be found at Ickworth. It was home to the Hervey family since the 14th century until it passed to the National Trust in the 1950s.

View of the park and garden. Ickworth House in the background
The park and gardens with Ickworth House in the distance. Source: National Trust

Find Out More:

To find out more about Ickworth House, visit the National Trust website.

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