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Wingfield Old College

Introduction

The gardens are on the site of a medieval clerical college. Much of the medieval buildings have gone, but some of the original remains hidden behind a mid-Georgian facade. Walls to the former kitchen garden are also 18th century. Some medieval features such as ponds remain but most are mid-20th century onwards, planted by the previous owner.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

The site is open for tours on one day per month between April and September.

Directions

From A143 Diss to Yarmouth turn south to Syleham at Brockdish. Follow road to Syleham. Continue onto Wingfield Green. Turn left past Wingfield Castle. First right past pub (De La Pole Arms) on the right. Church on left. Wingfield College is adjacent to church.

Owners

Jane Greenwood and Peter Blore

History

Wingfield college was originally built as a college to train nine priests. The Great Hall dating from 1362 and range of domestic buildings remain from this time, including the clerics' cloister walk which is now an internal corridor to the rear of the house. The college was dissolved in 1542 and it became a private house and farm.

The site was developed in the late 17th/early 18th century. Much of the earlier building was hidden behind an 18th-century facade in provincial Palladian style. A walled kitchen garden and sweeping carriageway date from this time.

Part of the moat and medieval fishponds remain. A late 20th century walled garden was planted in radical modern style. There is a wildflower meadow and two acres of woodland was planted.

From the 1980s to the early 21st century, the previous owner, Ian Chance, developed the site as an Art Centre of regional importance.

In 2005, the property was sold. The barns were split off and are now owned by Mid Suffolk District Council and used as an Arts Centre.

Period

Medieval (1066-1540)

Features & Designations

Designations

  • The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building

  • Grade: II*

Features

  • Stew Pond
  • Wall
  • Steps
  • Garden Shed
  • Drive
  • Embankment
  • Allee
  • Mixed Border
Key Information

Type

Estate

Purpose

Pleasure Garden

Principal Building

Historic House

Period

Medieval (1066-1540)

Survival

Extant

Hectares

1.8

Open to the public

Yes

Civil Parish

Wingfield

References

References

Contributors

  • S Tyley

  • L Buckwell