The eclectic collection at Belchamp Hall tells the story of the Raymond family who have owned the house and surrounding estate since 1611.
The present red-brick Queen Anne mansion was built in 1710 on the site of the previous Tudor house. Bay windows forming powdering chambers were added to the two principal bedrooms on the north and south of the house during the Georgian era, when hair powdering and wigs were in fashion. There are many family portraits painted by the local artist Thomas Gainsborough, who was born in nearby Sudbury.
The house overlooks the fine fourteenth-century parish church of St. Mary, with its famous medieval wall paintings. Outside, large lawns border the central drive with its circular sweep round an old sundial. To the right is a long raised terrace walk, planted with an avenue of cherry trees. The south terrace leads to a small, early Victorian summer house, with a formal marble floor and early coloured glass windows depicting pastoral scenes, flowers and vegetables. Belchamp Hall featured as the fictional Felsham Hall in the BBC series Lovejoy.
See the original family portraits by Thomas Gainsborough and the relics captured in the battle against the Spanish Armada. You’ll encounter the organ gifted to the Raymond family by famous eighteenth-century composer George Frideric Handel and learn about the Raymond family’s connections to eighteenth-century India.
Tours that are scheduled will be listed below. If none are scheduled yet, please check back later, or find other tours you might enjoy on our tours listing page here.
Belchamp Walter, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 7AT
Access the M11 from the North Circular (A406) or from the M25. Exit the M11 at junction 8 (Stanstead Airport). At the roundabout take the A120 (signposted to Colchester). Continue for approx. 20 miles over several roundabouts. At the A120 and the A131 junction Take the A131 to Sudbury. Continue along the A131 for approx. 3 miles until the AlOl7 (signposted Haverhill), which bears to the left – look out for this turning it’s a small sign. Continue on the A1017 for approx. 6 miles. Continue through Sible Hedingham, turn right onto the B1058 to Castle Hedingham. Continue along the B1058 through Castle Hedingham. Now follow directions in paragraph 3.
From Cambridge/the North:
Exit the M11 at junction 10. Head west on the A505 for approx. 4 miles. Turn left onto the A11. After approx. 1/2 mile turn right onto the A1307 towards Haverhill. After approx. 5 miles bear right at the roundabout onto the A1017 (Haverhill bypass). Follow this road to Sible Hedingham for approx. 19 miles. At Sible Hedingham turn left onto the B1058 to Castle Hedingham. Continue along the B1058 through Castle Hedingham. After approx. 2 miles turn left to Gestingthorpe – again look out for this turning, there’s a small red post box on the left side of the road. Now follow directions in paragraph 3.
After approx. 2 miles turn left to Gestingthorpe – again look out for this turning, there’s a small red post box on the left side of the road. Go through Gestingthorpe and at the village green continue straight over the crossroads to Belchamp Walter (approx. 2 miles). Before reaching Belchamp Walter the road bears off to the left up Chapel Hill – don’t follow this, instead continue straight on to Belchamp Walter. Turn right at the crossroads in the centre of Belchamp Walter (by the village pond) and continue down the hill for approx. 1 mile. At the bottom of the hill take the right hand fork which leads directly to the church of St Mary the Virgin and Belchamp Hall.
I just wanted to say how much fun it was to visit [Belchamp Hall] last Wednesday. Charles proved to be a most genial and welcoming host, everyone present greatly enjoyed his commentary on contents in the house, with focus on family paintings, which was hugely entertaining. Alice provided a great 'cuppa & cake', which was also beautifully presented.
1½ hours. Visitors are welcome to spend time in the garden afterwards.
£25.00 per person.
Tea or coffee and cakes
Ground floor tour only. Doors wide enough for wheelchairs. Gravel driveway and paths.