Buxlow Manor (also known as Ghost House, Red House Farm)6919

Saxmundham, England, Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal

Brief Description

Buxlow Manor is also known as Red House Farm or Ghost Hole (1826). It was recorded in the early-13th century as the property of John Cordebouef. The current red brick manor house, dating from about 1678, is of Elizabethan E-plan comprising two wings with sophisticatd Dutch style gables. The present owners bought the two hectare property in 1978 and redesigned the gardens which had been ploughed up and put down to grass. The gardens now comprise a large pond, pavilion, remains of an old pergola, Tudor wall, old dairy, greenhouse, workshop and a refurbished canal or possible moat. There are a substantial number of feature trees including an impressive Metasequoia Glyptostroboides. There are also a large number of interesting roses and shrubs. There is a kitchen garden, orchard, wilderness area, spring and sunken gardens. There is an interesting statue in a niche at the back of the house, thought by Pevsner to be of St. Agnes but now thought to be St. Margaret of Antioch or an East Anglian angel of 1470-1500.

History

The 13th century owner was John Cordebouef who died in 1300. The estate was passed to the Bokyll family of Friston; Maud Bokyll married John Jenney in 1435 and the property passed to the Jenney family until about 1750. Edmund Jenney refurbished the manor in the Dutch style in 1678. The last Jenney sold the manor to Edward Vernon in 1745 and it was then held by the Vernons until 1818. The manor was then sold to John Ayton and occupied by a series of tenant farmers. The Hawdons bought the manor in 1922 and undertook extensive structural changes in 1936. Frank Hall inherited the house in 1972 and ploughed up the gardens and laid them to lawn and the house was used as a bed and breakfast. The current owners bought Buxlow Manor in 1978.

Visitor Facilities

Please view websites for details on visiting. Access may be limited to guided tours and specific dates only.

Terrain

flat farmland

Detailed Description

1750-1922 The Vernons and Aytons variously owned the house but probably did not live in the Manor which was probably occupied by a series of tenant farmers. Little is known about the layout of the gardens.

1922-1972 Owned by the Howdons who at some point planted rose beds, kitchen garden traditional greenhouse and coldframes which were probably Victorian.

1972-1978 Frank Hall inherited the Manor House and gardens. He removed his Grandmother to a bungalow and ploughed up her beloved garden and put it down to grass for easy maintenance. The house was used as a bed and breakfast establishment and was looked after by caretakers. The planting that remained on the left of the drive were trees and shrubs, very old lilacs, laburnum, Cupressus Macrocarpa and not very interesting climbing roses.

1978 House bought by current owner Guy de Moubrey.

The south-eastern boundary has trees, mainly oaks, two Turkey oaks were added to replace trees brought down in the hurricane of 1987.

Within the garden there were some substantial trees and two ponds. The old dairy, garage/ workshop and Tudor brick wall to the right of the drive still remain, the tennis court, which was put in in 1979, has been allowed to grass over naturally. Spoil from the construction of the tennis court is now a bank, next to the canal, which is planted with small trees, mainly gold or purple.

The remains of the old cold frames and green house now have a large fig, cardoon and Globe artichoke growing from the foundations. The house, from old photographs, used to have a substantial kitchen garden, old Wisteria, Rosa Alberic Barbier and an old Japanese cut leaved Maple.

The current garden consists of lawns with island beds, herbaceous borders, shrubs, rose gardens two substantial ponds and many large and newly planted specimen trees and shrubs; some of the trees which survived the ploughing in 1972 include a Weeping Copper Beech (100+ years old) and Horse Chestnut.

1979 a sunken garden was planted with a Metasequoia Glyptostroboides (a very fine example).

The main pond was choked with Yellow Flag Iris, self sown Hawthorn and bramble and was cleared in 1979. The borders of the pond have since been planted with Golden Dawn Redwood, Weeping Willow, Berberis and Swamp Cypress. There is a wilderness area at the far end of the pond. A Yew hedge was planted in the mid 1980s at the southern boundary.

1992 a spring garden was planted and a Garden Pavilion constructed.

The garden boasts a profusion of spring bulbs, particularly at the rear of the back pond, and underplanting around the trees, Yew hedge. There are also examples of clipped topiary.

A comprehensive list of planting and history is available from the owner.

Features

Style

  • Informal
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: E-plan Elizabethan with Dutch gables
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Canal, Ornamental Pond, Kitchen Garden, Dairy, Rose Garden, Island Bed, Herbaceous Border, Rose Border, Shrub Border, Mixed Border, Topiary, Orchard, Tree Clump
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

Please view websites for details on visiting. Access may be limited to guided tours and specific dates only.

Directions

Take A12 junction B1119 east from Saxmundham (A12 junction to Buxlow Manor 4.22km) direction Leiston, Rendham Road for ~1km turn right into Albion Street Cont 0.1km straight on to Station Approach for 0.03km then right to New Cut 0.1km then left into Chantry Rd 0.11km cont on B1119/Church Street 0.19km cont. on B1119 bear left into Church Hill 2.88km turn left 0.51km turn right 0.24km Buxlow Manor (Red Hs Farm) is situated on left hand side.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Knodishall
History

Detailed History

Buxlow Manor was recorded in the early-13th century and has also been known as Red House Farm Knodishall, referenced in both Pevsner and "Suffolk Houses" by Sandon and also as Ghost Hole in a parish map of 1826.

The house is thought to pre-date Elizabethan times. The current red brick house is of an Elizabethan E-plan form, comprising of two wings which in about 1678 was refurbished in the sophisticated Dutch style.

John de Cordebouef was the original owner which then passed to the Bokyll family and thence to the Jenneys until approximately 1750.

The Manor was sold to the Vernon family which they retained until 1818 but there is no real evidence that the family lived there. From about 1750 until 1922 the Manor was probably occupied by a series of tenant farmer which is probably why it was named Red House Farm.

Captain Hawdon then procured the manor in 1922, with the house being called Buxlow Manor but the farm retaining the name Red House.

The manor was inherited by Frank Hall in 1972 from his grandmother, who he immediately moved to a cottage on the estate. He ploughed up the gardens and put down to grass making it easier for the caretakers to manage. Frank Hall then emigrated to Canada and the house was used as a bed and breakfast.

Some of the original features were retained such as the old dairy, now covered in rambling roses. Of the Victorian greenhouse, now sadly only the base remains, and several other outbuildings in various states of repair and ponds.

The current owner, Guy de Moubray, bought the manor house in 1978 but not the farm. He then proceeded to re-establish the gardens to their former glory. Fortunately many of the large trees were retained, particularly the magnificent 100+ year old Weeping Copper Beech, Oaks, large Ash and a line of red willows along the southern boundary.

Contact
References

References

Contributors

  • Carol Nutt

    1

  • Jane Fishwick

    1