Otley Hall in Suffolk is for sale - take a look around this £2.5 million Tudor property
PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 July 2017
© chris rawlings 2017
This Tudor Hall was the home of one of the founding fathers of the United States of America - Bartholomew Gosnold. Now it could be yours for £2.5m.
Otley Hall is an exceptional, Grade I-listed Tudor moated hall of considerable importance - both historically and internationally.
The hall is set within delightful gardens and grounds, approached from a quiet country lane, and about seven miles from Ipswich.
Otley Hall’s site was settled from the 12th Century with the present hall built by the Gosnold family, mostly during the 16th Century.
The Gosnolds were educated and well connected lawyers with links to Cardinal Wolsey, the Earl of Essex, the Earl of Southampton and Francis Bacon.
Colonel Robert Gosnold VI fought through three sieges in the Civil War and was reputed to have seen Charles I leave Oxford in disguise one midnight.
In 1588 the ‘Playhouse’ was added, and used as an occasional theatre.
This may have been inspired by one of the Gosnold cousins, Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, who some regard as the author of Shakespeare’s plays.
Some believe The Tempest was based on Bartholomew Gosnold’s voyage to the New World in 1602, during which trip he named Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, but failed to establish a settlement.
On his return to England, at Otley Hall, he started planning another adventure and began recruiting settlers.
In 1606, in command of the Godspeed with two other vessels, he left England and in 1607 was the prime mover in the establishment of what is now known as Jamestown, Virginia.
Sadly he died in 1607 and Otley Hall was sold by the Gosnold family in 1674.
In 1910 it was sold to Dorothy Sherston who employed Edwardian architect Morley Horder to refurbish the hall and Francis Inigo Thomas, the famous landscape gardener, to design a formal garden.
Today Otley Hall remains a home of distinction, one of the few Grade I-listed homes in Suffolk which is in private ownership.
The hall is timber-framed with brick infill and colour wash render under a tiled roof.
There is impressive accommodation over three floors with a wealth of exposed timbers and wooden panelling.
The Great Hall has fine oak panelling and moulded beams and it is thought it was here that Bartholomew Gosnold planned his famous Jamestown expedition.
The exceptional panelling in the Linenfold Parlour is reputed to have come from Cardinal Wolsey’s chambers at Hampton Court Palace.
In addition, in Robert Gosnold I’s bedroom there are Tudor nails from which silk tapestries were once suspended.
The current owners have allowed wider access to Otley Hall for conferences, wedding celebrations and quiet retreats.
There is a separate conference and corporate hospitality centre within the grounds, which are of approximately 9.55acres.
The outstanding main house includes the reception hall, the Great Hall, the Linenfold Parlour, a moat room and a study, with a Minstrel’s Gallery, kitchen wing and domestic offices.
There are five principal bedrooms, four bathrooms, five secondary bedrooms and two further bathrooms.
There is also an integral staff flat which includes a kitchen, sitting room, a bedroom and shower room.
Outside there are the exceptional gardens and a dovecote overlooks the croquet lawns. There is a herber, an orchard, nuttery, a rose garden, a vine tunnel and woodland.
There are peacocks, ducks, moorhens, green woodpeckers and herons.
There are also two thatched summer houses, a pavilion and a barn, with triple garaging and gardeners’ sheds.
It has an outside swimming pool, a tennis court and a jacuzzi.