Cavendish Hall

Cavendish, Suffolk - Sleeps 12

About this Landmark

This is an early Regency country house of great charm, set on the outskirts of a timeless village. Houses like this are familiar to anyone who has ever read a Jane Austen novel and being here, in the spacious, elegant rooms, the Regency period comes alive.

Beds 3 Twin 3 Double

  • Sleeps12
  • 4 nights from from£1,022
  • equivalent to £21.29 per person per night

A rock in the heart of Suffolk countryside

It is said that Cavendish Hall was built by Thomas Hallifax around 1800 for one of his sons. There is a stained glass window that bears the coat of arms bestowed to John Hallifax that does suggest the family's presence. Cavendish Hall cannot compete with other Landmarks in terms of welcoming celebrated guests, nor can it boast a military history like so many others. However, it is remarkable for this very reason. Over the centuries it has remained so solid and steadfast despite existing through many periods of change and upheaval. This means that it has been beautifully preserved, along with its huge estate, and as such we only needed to carry out minor cosmetic and practical restorative work.

A very grand property

Cavendish Hall is one of our grandest Landmarks, sleeping up to 12 people, with open fires and a 30 acre estate. The grounds contain a coach house, lodge, walled gardens, woodland and pleasure-ground that everyone staying here can enjoy. The views are of the unspoilt Suffolk countryside loved by John Constable, and the River Stour is nearby. The village of Cavendish is close by and is an archetypal example of a traditional Suffolk village with thatched houses, a grand church and many independent shops that give it so much character.

As all the bedrooms are upstairs, we can make a ground floor bedroom and bathroom available for those who are less mobile. Please ask.

Floor Plan

‘Best house for hide and seek in the world.’

‘We decided this was a 'house for all seasons' and that we'd be happy to stay here in the depths of winter, the height of summer, or anywhere in-between.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

Cavendish Hall lies in its own 30 acre estate with woodland and gardens for you to make use of. The views are of unspoilt English countryside and the village of Cavendish an archetypal Suffolk village of thatched houses, grand church and independent shops.

Cavendish Hall
Cavendish, Suffolk - Sleeps 12
Clear directions

Places to visit nearby

The Ancient House Museum, Clare

Somerleyton Hall

Lavenham

Suffolk Wool Museum

Framlingham Castle

‘Best house for hide and seek in the world.’

‘We decided this was a 'house for all seasons' and that we'd be happy to stay here in the depths of winter, the height of summer, or anywhere in-between.’

From the logbook

Your questions answered

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    No.
  • How is the property accessed?

    From the estate driveway.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Sudbury – 6miles
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    Yes there are seven car parking spaces adjacent to the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There is radiator central heating and an open fire.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is also an electric cooker, separate freezer, dishwasher and microwave.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There are four bathrooms; one with a free-standing shower and bath, two with showers over the bath and one with a bath. There is an additional wc.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    No.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is a garden (not enclosed) and an outdoor dining table and chairs.

    Booking and Payment

  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will advise you as to whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to carry out the changeover then we consider that it is open and available. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, which may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking.

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Is it true there are no televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.

An fine Regency country house

Listed Grade II, Cavendish Hall remains an excellent example of a Regency country house. According to White’s Directory of 1844, it is said to have been built by Thomas Halifax, once Mayor of Chester, for one of his sons. The coat of arms in the stained glass window does indeed show arms granted to a John Hallifax of Kenilworth in 1788, making a Hal(l)ifax connection plausible. According to the date on the window, and if the stained glass window in the cloakroom is in its primary position, the house was completed by 1802.

Cavendish Hall is not a house that has participated in events of high national drama nor been the home of exceptionally notable people, but is one of those gracious and solid houses that helps define the tone of our ancient villages, both through its residents and staff. Its residents have lived here contentedly and it has inspired memories of deep affection. Today, its 30 acre estate remains intact with lodge, coach house, walled garden, English landscape park, woodland, garden and pleasure ground. Its significance lies in its typicality, cohesion, completeness and for the consistent high quality of its parts. The unbroken continuity of its parkland gives a glimpse of archetypal English countryside, as treasured by the artist John Constable, who was born in East Bergholt.

Listed Grade II, Cavendish Hall remains an excellent example of a Regency country house. According to White’s Directory of 1844, it is said to have been built by Thomas Halifax, once Mayor of Chester, for one of his sons. The coat of arms in the stained glass window does indeed show arms granted to a John Hallifax of Kenilworth in 1788, making a Hal(l)ifax connection plausible. According to the date on the window, and if the stained glass window in the cloakroom is in its primary position, the house was completed by 1802. The next firm evidence is the catalogue for a seven day sale of the entire contents of Cavendish Hall, the effects of its deceased owner, Captain Ogden.

Sir Digby Mackworth lived here in the 1830s and in 1840, a retired medical doctor, John Yelloly, bought the house. The Yellolys owned Cavendish Hall for more than a century, although for much of that time the house was let to a succession of tenants, the residents for longest being the Trappman family (1880s) and a widow, Mrs Adeline Ramsay L’Amy (1896-1914). The last tenant, Mrs Morwena Brocklebank, bought the estate around 1948.

In 1969, Cavendish Hall was bought from Mrs Brocklebank by T. S. (Tom) Matthews for his third wife, Pamela. Thomas Stanley Matthews (1901-1991) was an American journalist and writer, patrician but a Democrat and a former editor of Time magazine. His network of friendships and acquaintances during a long and interesting life provide Cavendish Hall with links to some of the great literary figures of the twentieth century. T. S. Eliot, Robert Graves and Laura Riding were all good friends of his; his second wife was international correspondent Martha Gelhorn, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife.

Pamela Matthews (née Firth, 1917-2005) had led an equally interesting life. As a little girl in the 1920s, her father Lesley Firth had rented Cavendish Hall from the Yellolys for several years, and Pamela never forgot her happy times here. The artist Francis Bacon was a cousin, and he too revived his links with this part of Suffolk in later life. During WWII, Pamela Matthews served with British intelligence in Vienna, where she met and, in 1948 married, a dashing and charismatic soldier, Vladimir Peniakoff. Nicknamed Colonel Popski, Peniakoff had formed his own elite fighting force in the North African desert during the war. ‘Popski’s Private Army’ (No. 1 Long Range Demolition Squad) carried out a series of daring raids behind the German lines in North Africa and Italy – freeing prisoners, destroying installations and generally spreading alarm. Popski wrote and published his daring and hilarious memoirs while married to Pamela, though he died in 1951.

In the early 1960s, Pamela met T. S. (Tom) Matthews, then still married to Martha Gelhorn from whom he was divorced in 1963. Pamela married Tom Matthews in 1964 and they spent twenty two years together at Cavendish Hall, Tom writing several of his best known books here, including his biography of T. S. Eliot, Great Tom: Notes towards the Definition of T. S. Eliot; Jacks or Better and Angels Unawares. Pamela delighted in her herbaceous borders, and both shared deep affection for their Jack Russell terriers. Tom died in 1991.

At Pamela Matthews’s death in 2005, Cavendish Hall and the rest of their estate passed to a trust set up to manage the estate. It was Mrs Matthews’s wishes that her own deep enjoyment in her years spent at the Hall be shared by as many people as possible, and the Trust identified use as a Landmark a way of meeting those wishes.

A generous endowment

A lease was signed between the Pamela Matthews Trust and the Landmark Trust in 2009. The house and its grounds were in need of general refurbishment. A generous endowment was provided to enable Landmark to carry out these works, which were undertaken 2009-10.

The site feels carefully chosen, providing shelter and fine views across the countryside with fine oaks, limes and some interesting exotic tree species. The estate lost a generation of beeches and other mature trees in the 1987 storm; and in managing the landscape our aim is to sustain the subsequent replenishment by further timely tree planting and management to provide a Reptonian setting appropriate for a house of this age. We have removed certain more recent features and herbaceous planting, which also helps reduce maintenance costs and allows those staying in the building their privacy.

Internally, the entire house was re-wired and a new heating system was installed. Late partitions and ensuite facilities were removed from the first floor to reinstate the original spacious floorplan. A new kitchen was put in next to the breakfast room, to be close to the dining room (Pamela Matthews’s kitchen was at the rear, overlooking the terrace). All the bathrooms were replaced. The areas of the house that form the Landmark were redecorated in colours and wallpapers which evoke the early nineteenth century.

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

QuestionWhat's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.