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Kentwell Hall

Long Melford, Suffolk

Quick Guide
See below grid for details

Kentwell Hall
Picture By
Christine Matthews

Kentwell is known for its Tudor period "re-creation"  events, with over 200 re-enactors in full costume and character spread throughout the house and farm demonstrating the roles, trades, language, habits and social interaction of the people of Tudor England.

Kentwell prefers the term "re-creation" to "re-enactment" as the re-enactors or participants are not trying to simulate a particular historical event, but rather trying to get an authentic impression of life at a particular date. Using authentically made, but not necessarily old, clothing and props is an important aspect of this approach. Participants also interpret their roles and Tudor-lives in first-person interpretation, and speak to you as the characters they represent as if you were a time traveller visiting Tudor times.

Kentwell Hall is ideally suited for this as it is a stately home in Long Melford, Suffolk. It includes the hall, outbuildings, a rare breeds farm and gardens first built in the Elizabethan era.

The "re-creation"  events happen regularly throughout much of the year with up to 6 days in the month. See the schedule for details of when and the size of these, can vary enormously from 50 re-creators to 400. Take for example the largest of these the Great Annual Re-creation of Tudor Life this year - Kentwell 1588. You enter through a time tunnel. Once through this you find 40 acres of activity surrounding the house as it would have been in 1588.

Ladies in waiting at Kentwell - the ideal location for re-creations

Photo by  Gill Edwards

Each year they choose a different year from the 120 years of the Tudor period. You would see 200 Participants at any one time recreate the dress, speech, food, drink, music, dance, crafts, pleasures and way of life of the chosen year. You experience the sounds, sights and smells of Tudor England.

They may converse with the Tudors about their daily life as well as the events and activities of their 16th Century time. All sorts of activity is ongoing from sword practice to embroidery, all going about their lives. Ladies may embroider or read. Gentlemen may practise swordplay, archery or alchemy. All may dispute, dance, sing and play instruments. The family go about their business, eat and relax as of that time and retainers (stewards, butlers, cooks, bakers, brewers, dairymaids, gardeners etc) serve them. In addition, there is re-created a whole range of activities elsewhere (in the Gardens, Grounds, Stables and Farm) of those working on the Manor. Haymakers & Herds, Carters & Ostlers, Potters, Carpenters & Smiths, Spinners, Weavers & Dyers. The Cot and Hovel shows people living in meaner dwellings. But even poorer sorts have their pleasures, so there are loud musicians, players and archers. Plus travellers of every type.

The re- creations are varied, some far more recent for example Second World War events.

One of the main things about these are that generally they are not re-creations of battles but showing everyday life in a chosen period.

When no re-creations
 are on

Theres still things to see, house, moat house, gardens, rare breeds traditional farm.....

The Farm Buildings are of interest at any time. The Suffolk Punch Horses, Giant Donkeys, Goats, Pigs and Fowl may be more easily enjoyed when there are no distractions.

As well as the main house don't miss the moat house, the service building of c1500 with Dairy, Bakehouse, Brewhouse and Stillroom Solar usually set up very much of that date.

This is definitely somewhere that requires a feature location guide, we have only touched on the opportunities this provides here.




Picture By  Gill Edwards

Location:  Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk

Grid Reference: TL863479 Ceremonial County: Suffolk

Map Link: multimap

Aerial photo: multimap

Getting there: Kentwell Hall is just off the A134 between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury on the Suffolk/Essex border.

Website: own   sketch map of property   galleries of images
Other Useful Websites: wiki      Listed building record and photo of Kentwell Hall
Email:  click here  for response form
Address: Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk
Postcode: CO10 9BA Telephone: 01787 310207

Opening Times: Recreations occur on specific days only see schedule

A calendar system shows month by month what is on each day, some days have general house opening some recreation some other special events.

Charges: varies on events example: Great Annual event: Adults 14.95, children 10.75; other options.

General House opening:  adults 8.50;  Children 5.50;  (other options also)

See ticket prices for full (long) list

Nearby Locations:

Other Location Pages:

Living History Section

List of Living History Museums

Living history museums introduction

Notes: For most events no dogs, except guide dogs, are allowed within the grounds

CIN Page Ref: kentwell_hall

Classification: Living History

Date Updated: 07/2008

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