Hotelier celebrates 60th anniversary

THE owner of the Seckford Hall hotel is celebrating 60 years at the historic property in Woodbridge.

Michael Bunn was still a boy when his father purchased the hall in 1951 and has lived there ever since.

“The building has a fascinating history, dating right back to Tudor times,” said Mr Bunn.

“Ralph Harwood purchased the hall which was in a terrible state in 1939 and he began restoration work, with the aim of turning the building into a hotel.

“But in 1940 the hall was claimed by the MoD and commandeered for troops. It was not until 1949 that Seckford Hall actually became a hotel.

“In February 1951 my father purchased the hotel from Sir Ralph, and here I am today, still running the family hotel.”

The 32-bedroom hotel, which employs a staff of around 100, has seen many changes over the years while retaining its historic character.

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Mr Bunn and his wife, Christine, say that, like their predecessors stretching back over five centuries, they treat the building as a living entity.

Their aim is to maintain its grand and stately character in the best traditions of a Tudor mansion, together with the details which make it such a fascinating hotel.

A programme of refurbishment over the past year has paid dividends with the hotel achieving four-star status with both the AA and Visit Britain.

“Seckford Hall is in a unique position in that it is a family business with very strong local ties and a proven track record of commitment to the community,” added Mr Bunn.

“But the business is also central to the bigger tourism picture, providing Suffolk with a quality hotel which attracts both the business and leisure traveller.”