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Elveden Hall

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Architect  John Norton
Elveden Hall photoswikimapiaorgp0000947910bigjpg
Owner  Edward Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh
Similar  Ancient House Museum, Ment Towers, Elveden Forest, Golders Green Crematorium, Coronation Chair

Elveden Hall is a large stately home on the Elveden Estate in Elveden, Suffolk, England. The seat of the Earls of Iveagh, it is a Grade II* listed building. It is located centrally to the village and is close to the A11 and the Parish Church.


Elveden Hall Hall

Early life of the house

Elveden Hall The Elveden Estate Maharajah Duleep Singh Lavender39s Blue

The date of the original house's construction is unknown but the estate is known to have been anciently appropriated by Bury St Edmunds Abbey. After the dissolution of the monasteries it was given by Henry VIII to the Duke of Norfolk. It subsequently passed through the ownerships of the Crisp and Tyrell families. The Georgian house at the core of the present house is thought to have been built c. 1760. In 1768 the estate was purchased by Admiral Keppel. He died without issue in 1796 and it passed to his nephew, the Earl of Albemarle, who sold it to MP William Newton in 1813.

The Maharajah (1849–1894)

Elveden Hall Elveden Hall Suffolk England The Open Acoustic Impulse Response

In 1849, the Maharajah Duleep Singh, ruler of the Sikh Empire and owner of the famous Koh-i-noor diamond was exiled to England, having been removed from his kingdom by the British East India Company.

Elveden Hall Elveden Hall Suffolk England The Open Acoustic Impulse Response

The Maharajah purchased the 17,000-acre (69 km2) Elveden Estate in 1863 and set about rebuilding the country house and dressing it in an Italian style. However, he redesigned the interior to resemble the Mughal palaces that he had been accustomed to in his childhood. He also augmented the building with an aviary where exotic birds such as golden pheasant, Icelandic gyrfalcons, parrots, peafowl and buzzards were kept. His architect was John Norton, the Gothic revival specialist who also redesigned Tyntesfield.

Elveden Hall Elveden Hall former residence of Maharajah Duleep Singh Cool

Elveden Hall played host to a wide range of sporting activities but none rivalled the Maharajah's passion for shooting. His shooting parties were popular amongst aristocracy including Prince George, Duke of Cambridge.

Elveden Hall Elveden Hall Wikipedia

After seasons of poor farming in the 1870s, a downturn in the Maharajah's personal fortunes and political tensions in government, the Maharajah left Elveden and England in 1886. After his death in 1893, his executors sold the Elveden Estate in 1894 to Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh.

The Earls of Iveagh (1894–present day)

The 1st Earl of Iveagh, of the Guinness brewing family, purchased the Elveden Estate in 1894.

The Hall was used during the Second World War as a headquarters for the USAAF, during which time the staff quarters were struck and destroyed by a bomb. By the 1980s, the Guinness family were living elsewhere on the estate, and the Hall only occupied by caretakers. Its entire contents, including elaborate items owned by the Maharajah, were auctioned at Christie's in May 1984.

The Elveden Estate continues to be one of the country's largest farms. In 2000, in possibly the biggest case of fly-tipping in British history, over one million tyres and a thousand tonnes of shredded rubber were dumped on its land, the removal of which cost several hundred thousand pounds.

Owners of Elveden Hall and its estate since 1894 have been:

  • Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh (1894–1927)
  • Rupert Edward Cecil Lee Guinness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh (1927–1967)
  • Arthur Francis Benjamin Guinness, 3rd Earl of Iveagh (1967–1992)
  • Arthur Edward Rory Guinness, 4th Earl of Iveagh (since 1992)
  • The Heir Apparent is the present holder's son Arthur Benjamin Geoffrey Guinness, Viscount Elveden (b. 2003)

    Filming location

    Elveden Hall's unique and impressive architecture and surrounding landscapes have been used for filming on a number of occasions. These films include:

  • The Living Daylights (1987)
  • Gulliver's Travels (1996) TV / DVD
  • The Moonstone (1997)
  • Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
  • Stardust (2007)
  • Dean Spanley (2008)
  • References

    Elveden Hall Wikipedia