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Wyken Hall


Wyken Hall has a 20th-century garden surrounding a 16th-century hall and estate. Features include a rose garden, topiary, herb garden, vegetable garden, maze, dell, wild garden, nuttery and an orchard, all surrounding Wyken Hall. There is a commercial vineyard adjoining the site.



The garden lies on heavy clay which overlies chalk. It is described starting at the north, much as it is encountered by the visitor. Entering the garden a traditional cottage garden, created in 1997, encloses the estate office.

The orchard and kitchen garden are to the north of the house and are the oldest part of the garden. The orchard was in evidence in the 18th century. Now apples, herbs and vegetables are grown for the restaurant. An edible garden is outside the back door of the house.

The red hot border, created by Carla Carlisle, lies between the kitchen garden, the croquet lawn and the herb garden. Its blazing colours include crocosmias, yellow Bidens and rudbeckias, and the scarlet dahlia Bishop of Llandaff.

Three linked gardens are to the east: the rose garden, planted with historic roses, knot garden and herb garden, their design added to and inspired by Arabella Lennox-Boyd. In the east garden is a Lutyens-style gate based on a design from Castle Drogo.

To the south-east is the nuttery containing cob trees and walnuts together with primroses, wood anemones and other woodland plants. The gazebo garden is at the end of the nuttery. Then there is Heaven's Maze - a modern maze planted with hornbeam and copper beech.

In the wild garden there are cowslips, fritillaries, and yellow rattle. The dell is planted with silver birch (Betula jacquemontii).

In the south garden the twin gates and avenue of limes (Tilia x euchlora) connect the garden to ancient woodland, Wyken Wood.

A quincunx is in the forecourt to the house. The five interlocking circles of box and topiary yew are based on a design made in 1911 for Knebworth by Gertrude Jekyll. A modern ceramic fountain by local potter Clive Davies lies at the centre.

Spartan apples grow against the house, espalliered high so as not to block the view.

Information from: Carlisle, K., 2007, Wyken, The Life of a small Suffolk estate. Snakeshead Press, Bury St Edmunds.

Daneff, T., May 2008, Suffolk's Deep South, Saga Magazine, 120-123.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

The gardens are open from the end of March to the end of September. Please see:


From Bury St Edmunds take the A143 north. After Ixworth bypass at the second roundabout take a right turn to Walsham le Willows. After two miles the site is signed on the left.


Lord & Lady Kenneth Carlisle

Stanton Road, Wyken, IP31 2DW

Wyken Hall lies nine miles north-east of Bury St Edmunds in the parish of Bardwell and Stanton on the divide between the Breckland sands and the boulder clay of central Suffolk. Field walking in the Wyken area has revealed settlement stretching back over at least 6,000 years and Iron Age and Roman pottery has been found on the estate.

The name Wyken, based on the Germanic wic derives from the Roman vicus - an administrative term and thought to imply a dependant or outlying farm. Ham suggests an early English settlement continuing after the Roman period. The Wyken estate is mentioned in Domesday. The Wykenhale Survey of 1593 describes the manor, then owned by Robert Asheley. Thomas Warren's 1791 map shows that Wyken today is physically still very much as it was over 200 years ago.

The 1791 map shows the main garden to the east and the orchard to the north of the house, as it is now. The 1826 map draws the garden in greater detail, with an ornamental pond in front of the east wing. A formal square garden, divided by paths into four quarters, lies beyond. A photo of about 1900 shows a tennis game in progress on the lawn in the east garden, enclosed by trees and shrubs.

Frank Heilgers, a cousin of the present owner, bought Wyken in 1920, 1050 acres of mixed arable and livestock farming. At the time the house was a modest Suffolk farm, dating from the 16th century. The new owner commissioned John Corder, an Ipswich architect, to restore and enlarge it and an attractive and comfortable house was created.

The current owner, Kenneth Carlisle, married Carla, an American from the Mississippi Delta, in 1986, and they decided to create a vineyard soon after. They had decided that the time had come to diversify. Farming the estate was contracted out in the 1990s. The farm is managed for wildlife and is part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, working in conjunction with Suffolk Wildlife Trust. There are wildflower meadows, ponds and reedbeds immediately beyond the gardens which surround the house.

The Country Store and Cafe opened in 1992, in a converted barn, and the restaurant followed soon after. The weekly farmers' market began in 2002. Currently the four acre garden attracts upwards of 5,000 visitors a year.

Information from: Carlisle, K., 2007, Wyken, The Life of a small Suffolk estate. Snakeshead Press, Bury St Edmunds.

Daneff, T., May 2008, Suffolk's Deep South, Saga Magazine, 120-123.

Associated People
Features & Designations


Tudor-Style Garden


  • Planting
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Maze
  • Knot Garden
  • Rose Garden
  • Orchard
  • Description: Orchard to north of house
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Manor House (featured building)
  • Description: Manor house with later additions
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gazebo
  • Topiary
  • Vinery
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential





Open to the public


Civil Parish





  • Ann Bennoch

  • Sara Muldoon