Melford Hall, one of the most handsome Elizabethan houses in East Anglia, stands on the edge of the splendid medieval village of Long Melford. It belonged to the Abbot of Bury St Edmunds but by the 1550s had passed to Sir William Cordell (d.1581), a successful Tudor lawyer who served both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. From the early seventeenth century, Melford was expanded and improved by successive families, among them the Savages, the Firebraces and the Hyde Parkers. The Dining Room, rebuilt after the 1942 fire, reflects the cool Scandinavian taste of Ulla Ditlef-Nielson, Lady Hyde Parker. It was after the death of her husband, Sir William Hyde Parker (1892–1951), 11th Bt, that Melford was accepted by HM Treasury and transferred to the National Trust in 1960, although it remains the family home. Amongst the family portraits of the Cordells, Firebraces and Hyde Parkers are the unusual set of large monochrome eighteenth-century paintings, reset in the Hall in 1813, which appear to be astrological personifications.
National Trust, Melford Hall
Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 9AA England
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