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Otley Hall, Ipswich, Suffolk

The ‘outstanding individual house’ in east Suffolk (Bettley & Pevsner, 2015). Grade I, C16 moated hall, still a family home, a perfect example of unspoilt late medieval architecture. According to Farrer (Old Suffolk Houses, Vol. 6), the impressive Great Hall and Linenfold Parlour, which look out onto the rose garden, are unequalled in Suffolk.

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A wealth of notable features includes a cross or screens passage, richly carved beams, most beautiful and complete linenfold panelling and remarkable 16th-century wall paintings celebrating the marriage in 1559 of Robert Gosnold III and Ursula Naunton. Outside, the lofty chimneys, herringbone brickwork and vineleaf pargetting, magnificent today, give a tantalising glimpse of an even more glorious past. The ten acres of gardens, full of rich, dreamy atmosphere (Country Life, 2015) were placed sixth in 50 top British gardens in The Independent.

The Gosnolds lived here for over 230 years from 1440 first as tenants, then as owners. Bartholomew Gosnold (1571-1607) voyaged to the New World, where in 1602 he discovered Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, which he named after his infant daughter. In 1607, 13 years before the Mayflower landed, he was the prime mover in the Virginia Company expedition that founded the Jamestown colony. This was the first permanent English-speaking settlement in America. It has been said that the two voyages were planned at the hearthside of Otley Hall.

Tour features

Guided tour of ground and first floor of the Hall. Visitors are welcome to wander in the gardens after the tour.

December tour (£17) includes decorated, candlelit rooms, mulled wine and festive nibbles.


Otley Hall is a great place, the people were lovely and the tour was super.


Otley Hall is eight miles north of Ipswich off the B1079, in the village of Otley. Once in the village, turn into Chapel Road at the Village Store/Post Office, following the brown historic house signs. Continue for about half a mile before turning left into Hall Lane. Otley Hall is 500 yards along Hall Lane on the left. On arrival, please park in the signposted car park where your hosts will meet you.

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Useful information

Price £15.50, December tour £17.00
Duration 2.5 hours

Tea, coffee and a selection of cakes. December tour includes mulled wine and festive nibbles.

Special restrictions

No commercial photography. Because our properties are old and fragile, unfortunately we cannot include children under 14.

Disabled access

Part access with one step up into Hall. Gravel and bark chipping pathways in grounds.

Tour dates

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  • Booking

    To book a tour of this property on one of the tour dates click the tour booking button below. To request a group visit of this property with your party or club on a specific date click the Request a group visit button.

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