Cavendish Hall

Cavendish, Suffolk


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.

  • Electric Car Charging PointElectric Car Charging Point
  • CotCot
  • Accessible bedroomAccessible bedroom
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Logs availableLogs available
  • BathBath
  • Bath with ShowerBath with Shower
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • ShowerShower
  • Table Tennis TableTable Tennis Table
  • Washing MachineWashing Machine

Beds 3 Twin 3 Double

4 nights from
£1372 equivalent to £28.58 per person, per night
Twin bedroom with open door through to ensuite bathroom
Accessible shower and seat at Cavendish Hall
Main bathroom at Cavendish Hall
Bathroom with shower, standalone bath and circular skylight
Views through the window at Cavendish Hall to rolling green hills and countryside

Regency Elegance in the Suffolk countryside

Cavendish Hall was built by Thomas Hallifax around 1800 for one of his sons, and a stained glass window bears the family arms. This is a gracious country house that has seen no great drama in its unruffled past but is no less interesting for that. Such little estates help define the tone of our countryside, and staying here you join the generations who have loved the house, from both sides of the green baize door. This unspoilt Suffolk countryside inspired Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable alike: there is an acclaimed gallery in nearby Sudbury dedicated to Gainsborough, and Constable’s River Stour flows nearby.

A well-loved estate opens its arms

In the 20th century, Pamela Matthews (who bequeathed Cavendish Hall to us), loved it so much as a little girl that later her husband bought it for her. They were a sociable couple and hosted a stream of international artists and literati. The contents of the house still reflect something of that cosmopolitan and hospitable mood. The house sleeps up to 12 people, with open fires and a 30-acre estate. There is a coach house, a pretty terraced garden, and woodland.  The unspoilt village of Cavendish is a short walk away, and Clare is just a few miles further, with its ancient church, ruined priory and excellent independent and antique shops.

Cavendish Hall provides mobility, hearing and visual facilities to National Accessibility Scheme standards. To access detailed information, download the accessibility guide. There is level access throughout the ground floor. As all the bedrooms are upstairs, we can make a ground floor bedroom and bathroom available for those who are less mobile. Please ask.

Cavendish Hall accessibility guide

Floor Plan


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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, claimed to be one of the prettiest in Suffolk with its thatched houses and grand church. Take a walk around the village and surrounding area to discover more of its delights and places of interest.

A short distance away, in the village of Long Melford, is Kentwell Hall. You can visit this fine Tudor mansion, with its extensive gardens and rare breeds farm, and also experience the special costumed events that are staged here regularly. Framlingham Castle, a magnificent 12th century fortress and one time refuge of Mary Tudor, is about an hour's drive from Cavendish if you are looking for another historical day out during your stay. 

The nearby medieval village of Lavenham is worth a visit. Look out for their art and literary festivals, as well as enjoying their shops and cafes. 

Gainsborough's House (8 miles) celebrates the life of artist Thomas Gainsborough and houses a permanent collection that encompasses the whole of Gainsborough's career.  Slightly further afield outside Bury St Edmunds is Ickworth House (16 miles), a Georgian Italianate palace with over 1,800 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown.

For more information on things to do during your stay at Cavendish Hall, please see our Pinterest page. 

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Clear directions
Essential info
What you need to know about this building
  • No.
  • From the estate driveway.
  • Cavendish Hall provides mobility, hearing and visual facilities to National Accessibility Scheme standards. To access detailed information download the accessibility guide.

    The building has a car park with one accessible parking space. The parking is less than 50 metres of level access from the main entrance. The route is no less than 3000mm wide. The entrance door is 1100mm wide.

    There is level access throughout the ground floor. There is one accessible twin bedroom with an accessible ensuite. The route to the bedroom and the doorway is 750mm wide or more. There is unobstructed floor space 1200mm by 900mm or more.

    The ensuite wet room has an accessible sink, shower seat and handrail and the toilet has accessible handrails. The toilet seat is 455mm high.

    There is a large open kitchen with access clear underspace below the hob and sink and pull out accessible work surfaces. The ovens are accessible with doors that slide underneath to give more space. There are also additional surfaces for both ovens that can be extended if required. The route to the kitchen is 800mm wide or more.

    From the main entrance to the sitting room the route and door is 1000mm wide or more.

    There is ramped access out to the terrace from the Flower Room French doors that are 1000mm wide. The terrace does not have a smooth finish. There is an aluminium foldable ramp available for guest use in order to access the grassed areas from the terrace.

    Cavendish Hall accessibility guide
  • Sudbury – 6miles
  • Yes there are seven car parking spaces adjacent to the property.
  • There is radiator central heating and an open fire.
  • Logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • To check up-to-date mobile network coverage in the area, visit* Due to the location and structure of many of our buildings, signal strength may differ to those indicated.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is also an electric cooker, separate fridge freezer, dishwasher and microwave.
  • 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.
  • No.
  • There is a garden (not enclosed) and an outdoor dining table and chairs.
  • There is a Type 2 Electric Vehicle charge point, delivering a 7.2kW charge, at the property. You will need to request this facility at the time of booking to ensure the outlet has been enabled for your arrival. There is a small charge to cover the cost of electricity provided.
Booking and Payment
  • If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • 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.
  • The key arrangements will be included in the Further Infomation document which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • If your stay starts more than two 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 and The Bunk House at Llwyn Celyn must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • Our housekeeper will leave the key in a suitable place, the details of which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • 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.
  • No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • 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!
Staying at a Landmark
  • 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 on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.  Further information on access when visiting Lundy can also be found here.
  • Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • 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
  • 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. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog. Please contact booking enquiries if a registered assistance dog is supporting one of the guests, for which there is no charge.
  • Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • 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.
  • We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • 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.
  • 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). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visiting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).
  • Landmark’s electrical systems have not been designed to provide continuous power from one socket over several hours.  If an ordinary socket is used to charge an electric vehicle, there is significant risk of an electrical fire and consequent danger to life.  Therefore, we are unable to allow electric vehicle charging from most of our Landmarks at present.

    We are working to provide Type 2 Electric Vehicle charge points at our properties where there is private parking.  Where this is available, please request this facility when booking the property to ensure the outlet is enabled on your arrival.  There is a small charge to cover the cost of electricity provided.  Please book this facility in advance.
  • No, we do not allow smoking in any Landmark.
  • 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.
  • Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival. Except for the Llwyn Celyn Bunkhouse.
  • 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.
  • Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
  • A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. Hairdryers are provided.

A 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. 

For a short history of Cavendish Hall please click here.

To read the full history album for Cavendish Hall please click here.

To download the children's Explorer pack for Cavendish Hall please click here.


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 floor plan. 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.

Thanks to the Pamela Matthews Trust whose lease and endowment enabled Landmark to carry out refurbishment to the house and grounds.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

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.