Otley Hall is a Grade 1 listed building and is generally recognised as one of Suffolk’s finest buildings.  It has its own web-site and has open days for the house (usually Bank holiday Sunday afternoons in May and August) and the gardens.  It also takes part in the Invitation to View scheme.  Its main association is with the Gosnold family from around 1440 until about 1674 although the current house was mainly built in the period 1512 - 1588.  Bartholemew Gosnold is credited with pioneering the direct route to the New World not stopping at the Azores in 1602.  He named Cape Cod and called an is;and further south ‘Martha’s Vineyard’ after his infant daughter Martha who had died in 1598, aged 1.  A later voyage in 1606/7 was full of incident. 

Edward de Vere (17th earl of Oxford) was Gosnold’s cousin and some theories exist that say he was Shakespeare.  as the Otlry Hll guidebook says “If Shakespeare drew on Gosnald’s voyage (for the Tempest) then Ariel danced on South Sands, Martha’s Vineyard and Caliban was a Martha’s Vineyard ‘Indian’”. Suffolk de Veres can be found at Bures.


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