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Helmingham Hall, Helmingham

Description: Helmingham Hall

Grade: I
Date Listed: 9 December 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 279699

OS Grid Reference: TM1865657685
OS Grid Coordinates: 618656, 257685
Latitude/Longitude: 52.1741, 1.1964

Location: Helmingham, Suffolk IP14 6EN

Locality: Helmingham
Local Authority: Mid Suffolk District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP14 6EN

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Listing Text

TM 15 NE
4/80 Helmingham Hall


A large country mansion, built round a courtyard, for Lionel Tollemache (High
Sheriff of Suffolk and Norfolk 1512 and 1530; ob. ante 1553). Three major
phases of remodelling: c.1745-1760 for the 4th Earl Dysart; c.1800 by John
Nash for the 6th Earl; and c.1841, probably by A. Salvin, for John (later 1st
Lord) Tollemache. The north, south and east ranges retain substantial parts
of the original timber-framed house of which small sections of close-studded
and jettied framing are exposed. The exterior is almost entirely encased or
rebuilt in C18 and C19 red brick, apart from the upper floor of the south
range which is hung with C18 red mathematical tiles above a narrow jetty.
Embattled parapets and crowstepped gables. Plaintiled roofs: a number of late
C16 and early C17 axial chimneys of red brick with circular and octagonal
shafts in groups of 2 or 4. Courtyard plan: a central late C16 gatehouse has
a 4-window range at either flank, terminated by set-forward gables. To rear
of the courtyard are parallel hall and kitchen ranges; on the east is a C16
range of lodgings; and to west a parlour wing rebuilt in 1841. Windows on the
south elevation by Nash have Gothick hoodmoulds and small-pane casements,
those at ground storey with transomes. The terminal gables of c.1600 have 2-
storey splayed bays with plastered mullions and transomes and leaded glazing,
a broad moulded plaster cornice at 1st and attic floors, and octagonal corner
pilasters capped by finials of carved brick which are repeated at the gable
apex. These gables form the model for the design of the west front of 1841,
the entire motif being repeated, with the introduction of diaper patterning in
burnt headers. The mid or late C16 front gatehouse is in narrow bricks with
splayed buttresses and a round-arched gateway, which until c.1800 had an
entablature with pediment. At that time the corbelled oriel and crowstepped
gable were added. An original gateway of c.1530 behind: timber-framed, with a
depressed 4-centred arched head with carved spandrels and buttress shafts; a
pair of large oak doors with ribbed panels and fine tracery at the head may be
a little earlier. The courtyard face, remodelled by Nash, has reinstated a
carved timber cill from an oriel window of c.1530. The great hall remains
open, with queen post trusses: the arch braces are filled with trefoils, and
beneath the tie beams and wall pieces are pendant bosses. Although the
details are probably by Nash, the roof may have a C16 core. Much fine
interior remodelling in particular the Boudoir of c.1745-60. The house is
surrounded by a broad C16 moat with possibly medieval origins; the revetments
with low parapets are of C18 red brick. For full details of the house and its
history, Country Life: Helmingham Hall, Suffolk: Arthur Oswald; five issues
August-October 1956.

Listing NGR: TM1865657685

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.