Pictures of buildings mentioned in the “Suffolk” volume of “The Buildings of England” series by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner.

Ickworth is one of the great houses of Suffolk and is now in the care of the National Trust and hence regularly open to the public.  It comprises the rotunda as seen above and as we shall see, two-storey pavilions each side, each connected by a one-storey quadrant.

Pevsner describes it on pages 285/6 of the second edition, noting the history of the Earl’s of Bristol who built it and lived there until recently and also noting various interior features.  He says “Ickworth was started in 1795, and at the time of the (fourth) Earl’s death (in 1803) far from completed.”  “The design is by Francis Sandys, but the crazy idea of the oval corps de logis ... must be the Earl’s.  It makes for a lumpy appearance from outside and creates very unsatisfactory shapes for most of the rooms inside.”

Describing the pavilions he says they are “... of conventional design, with pedimented centres, the pediments resting on attached Ionic columns, were hardly begun at the time when the Earl died.  They were completed only about 1830.  The house is 700ft long and 100 ft high.  It is brick stuccoed. ... The rotunda is covered by a segmental dome.  The walls have attached columns all the way round, unfluted Ionic below, Corinthian above.  A terracotta frieze runs above the upper columns, a second below the capitals of the lower.”

Let us now look at the two-storey pavilions and one-storey quadrants.  The West wing (now an Orangery and Cafe/Restaurant and gift shop for the National Trust is here:

The one-storey quadrant joining it to the rotunda is shown  here:

The East wing, similarly joined, is now a hotel and is shown here (there is no explanation in Pevsner for the extra roof storey):

All the views above are approximately South facing .  To the North is the entrance of which Pevsner says “The entrance is marked by a four-column portico with pediment, rather inorganically attached to the corners of the rotunda.” As seen here:

Pevsner mentions the “Obelisk erected in 1804 by the inhabitants of Londonderry in memory of the Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry.  About 50ft tall.”.  This is a considerable walk from the house (a two hour round trip) and not all that easy to spot.  It is thought this may  have been deliberate!  Seen here:

The second edition concludes Ickworth with a brief entry in brackets (i.e. not in the original edition by Pevsner) for the Dower House “C18. Good.”  This is now associated with the hotel.  Seen here:

Return to Index