The medieval manor house rises straight from a spectacular moat. It sits in an acre of formal garden inside the moat (designed by Chelsea Gold Medal winner George Carter).

Another 28 acres of orchards, woods, parkland and bog gardens are outside the moat. Columbine Hall has appeared in many articles and books. Pevsner’s Guide to West Suffolk describes it as “enchanting”. The gardens were featured in Gardens Illustrated and The English Garden (twice) along with The Walled Garden and The Water Garden, books by owner, Leslie Geddes-Brown. The interior has been in World of Interiors and style books by Kevin McCloud, George Carter and Ros Byam Shaw.

Hew Stevenson and Leslie bought the manor house, which had been empty for seven years, in 1993, and, along with Melvyn Smith, have transformed the interior. They are avid collectors. Paintings include ancestral portraits and those by Angie Lewin, whose books Leslie helped to write. They bought a lifesize Chinese auspicious deer at auction (without seeing it) plus two six-foot Burmese earth spirits and have a spear taken from the fuzzie-wuzzies at the battle of Tamai in 1884. Many are a result of Hew’s interest in his family, described in his book, Jobs for the Boys: The Story of a Family in Britain’s Imperial Heyday.

This property is viewable only through Invitation to View

Tour features

Guided tour of house and garden. Visitors are welcome to arrive early and picnic in the grounds.


Take the A1120 into Stowupland. Turn off almost opposite the petrol station and cross the village green. Turn right at T junction and go beyond Columbyne Close bungalows on left. Just beyond the de-restriction sign turn left through wooden posts into the drive. Please park in car park and meet Hew or Leslie Stevenson at the front door.


Tea and cakes.

Acces notes

Ground floor only, gravel courtyard.


No photography in the house.


Interested? Click the button below to see available dates. If you're a member and are logged in you'll be able to see the discounted option also.


2019 tour dates

  • 29 May
  • 9, 18 and 28 July
  • 7 and 19 August

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All 2019 tours are £18.00 per person, with a discount for Historic Houses members.