Please note: This house does not offer free entry to Historic House members.
For alternative options please see other opening options.

Other opening

Overview

The grade-I listed gatehouse of Butley Priory, built under prior William de Geystone (1311-1322), is virtually all that remains of the Augustinian Priory founded here in 1171. It lies deep in the sandy heathlands of east Suffolk, and originally comprised a magnificent collection of buildings, covering an area of twenty acres enclosed by a stone wall.


Opening
Opening

Open by Private Tour only.

Find Us
Find us

The postcode should work on sat navs. For those without, from Woodbridge head towards Melton and past the railway station on your right. Follow this road to the small roundabout and go left, then follow the road for approx. 3 miles past Bromeswell rugby club and through the forest. The turning is the next right after the Rendlesham Forest Centre turning and is signposted Butley Priory.

Coaches are requested to drop passengers at the end of the drive, because the driveways are not suitable for large vehicles.

Forthcoming Tours

7 Apr 2020
2PM - 4PM | £18.50

5 May 2020
2PM - 4PM | £18.50

9 Jun 2020
2PM - 4PM | £18.50

14 Jul 2020
2PM - 4PM | £18.50

15 Sep 2020
2PM - 4PM | £18.50

6 Oct 2020
2PM - 4PM | £18.50

Tour Overview

Tours are led by the historian of the interior of the house and include the great hall, drawing room and kitchen, which all have vaulted ceilings. You will also see the first floor bedrooms, with their impressive arched windows, and the front exterior, which has the armorial frieze. You'll also be invited to a walk around the south garden, grounds and monks’ fish ponds.

Tour duration

2 hours

Tour prices

£18.50

Refreshements

Tea, coffee and biscuits.

Access notes

Ground floor access only and there are some small ledges/steps to get over.

Restrictions

None. As part of the tour is outside, please bring suitable outdoor clothing and footwear.

 


Opening
Opening

Open by Private Tour only.

Find Us
Find us

The postcode should work on sat navs. For those without, from Woodbridge head towards Melton and past the railway station on your right. Follow this road to the small roundabout and go left, then follow the road for approx. 3 miles past Bromeswell rugby club and through the forest. The turning is the next right after the Rendlesham Forest Centre turning and is signposted Butley Priory.

Coaches are requested to drop passengers at the end of the drive, because the driveways are not suitable for large vehicles.

Other opening


Butley Priory's history and features

Unique features of the building are its extensive armorial frieze on the north side and exuberant flushwork decoration. It is thought that the stone used in the building of the priory came from the valley of the Yonne in France, and that it was brought up the Butley River on barges. A canal was cut to bring the stone to the wharf only 200 yards south of the Priory church. The plan of the original site is known from the excavations carried out in 1930 by Montague Rendell, scholar and ex-headmaster of Winchester, who bought the gatehouse in 1926.

Such was Dr. Rendall's passion for the building that he spent his last penny on the restoration work, and was forced to sell the property in his later years to Sir Bernard Greenwell Bart, who generously allowed him to live out his life at Butley. The present tenants, the Cavendish family, have lived here since 1987 and are continuing the process of making the gatehouse into a comfortable family home.