An exceptional townhouse with beautiful proportions right in the historic core of this appealing market town.
The Manor House is probably one of the finest historic townhouses in East Anglia. Described by Simon Jenkins in his book England's Thousand Best Houses as a handsome early Georgian Mansion and dating from around 1735 this Grade I listed gem contains some spectacular interiors and was returned to use as a private house in 2006 after a multi-million pound renovation which took place back in the 1990s when the building was used as a museum.
Built by John Hervey, The 1st Earl of Bristol for his second wife at a time when the great and the good of the county used to reside in their prominent townhouses for the Bury Season. Designed in a Palladian style by James (later Sir James) Burrough an eminent architect in the area who also designed the New Building at Peterhouse and Clare College Chapel in Cambridge and who ultimately became Master of Gonville & Caius College in 1754.
The house has been occupied as Judge's Lodgings, a prep-school in times past as well as in recent times the Bury St Edmunds Museum. The Museum was created in 1993 and the house restored at significant expense by the local authority only to be closed in 2006 when the property was converted by new owners in to a comfortable yet grand home. The current owners acquired the property in 2011.
Of particular note internally are the fine Georgian proportions of the main rooms which run across the front of the building in an enfilade. The spectacular entrance hall has a monumental fireplace with ornate pedimented surround and a triple arched arcade and leads through a central arch to the fine main staircase and a pair of tall French doors leading out in to the private gardens behind the house.
At first floor level is a large drawing room, formerly a ball room which has an enriched coffered ceiling and wide plank flooring. The kitchen has a tall vaulted ceiling and is top lit by a vast lantern. Featuring a large central island together with a sitting area with tall arched window and French doors to the garden. The house offers extensive accommodation for a family, is ideal for entertaining and provides plenty of space and flexibility for owners and their guests. In addition, at lower ground floor level within the south wing, is a one bedroom annexe flat which can be accessed via a separate entrance on Honey Hill. The accommodation is shown in greater detail in the attached floor plans.
The massive double entrance doors flanked by stone pillars and an arched pediment are reached up a flight of stone steps fronting Honey Hill. To either side a yew hedge runs along the façade. To the rear there is a Right of Way across private land which leads in to a gated parking area. The gardens have been beautifully laid out with formal beds, topiaried box hedging and obelisks. Wide shingle paths cross centrally with lawned areas and a deep paved terrace along the rear elevation of the house.
There is a service area hidden behind mature hedging and external access to the plant room containing boilers etc.
Manor House, whilst one of England's imposing 18th century Town Houses, being largely on two floors it expands and contracts to meet a variety of family needs. Although imposing from the front, once inside the house provides gracious and practical living space. It might seem surprising that the present owners, downsizing from an impractical Tudor Country House, purchased Manor House to meet the needs of one partner who became severely disabled as a result of a stroke. The ground floor being essentially on one level affords extensive, spacious everyday living space with an usually large, airy kitchen, an elegant hall and a couple of beautiful rooms. With a short flight of shallow steps leading up to a bedroom/bathroom/dressing room suite with a carer's bedroom and bathroom close at hand which proved invaluable. This floor opens directly on to the garden (with no steps) and is on the same level out to the car parking at the rear.
James Barnett, Savills Cambridge
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Tim Phillips, Savills Country Department, London
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The Manor House is a very special home indeed, a country house in the centre of Bury St. Edmunds, with the most stunning proportions.Tim Phillips