New Inn

Peasenhall, Suffolk


With lodging rooms either side of a late-medieval hall, the building was in use as an inn by 1478. The New Inn today retains its open hall, once a communal point for weary travellers and those who lived here.

Free public Open Days: 14-15 September 2024


  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Logs availableLogs available
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • ShowerShower

Beds 2 Double, 2 Twin

4 nights
£1088 equivalent to £34.00 per person, per night

Handsome 15th century inn

Built in 1478, New Inn bucked the general trend at the time whereby abbeys and monasteries tended to service the needs of the weary traveller. On first inspection New Inn looks like any other run of the mill 15/16th century house of a well-to-do merchant. With its central open hall, family rooms at one end and other service rooms at the other, New Inn appears to be unremarkable amongst its contemporaries. However, unlike other homes, New Inn featured extended accommodation. In order to provide enough space for guests and the family, it also boasted a large cellar that would have served to brew and store ale.

A spacious communal hall welcomes all

Once upon a time New Inn would have welcomed many different guests that strayed through Peasenhall. Today it offers the same warm and extended welcome for those that stay here, accommodating up to eight people in comfort. The main hall is undeniably its defining feature. The medieval hall has underfloor heating and a woodstove, making this space a fantastic place both to dine and relax, much like it was many centuries ago. In its main bedroom you can contemplate a glorious crown-post roof from your pillow. 

‘Spent hours studying the beautiful carpentry of the building’s oak frame.’

‘The Landmark Trust library here is too good. Too much interest and no time to read.’

From the logbook

Floor Plan


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Map & local info

New Inn faces the village green in Peasenhall, a long, open village with a stream running beside the road and excellent small shops full of local produce.

Peasenhall is a short drive from the Suffolk coast, where you will find Dunwich Heath, a wonderfully peaceful haven of wildlife for you to explore. South of here is the coastal town of Aldeburgh with its shingle beach. Look out for the fishermen's huts, where you can buy freshly caught fish, the Martello Tower and the iconic Scallop sculpture, a tribute to the composer Benjamin Britten, who spent much of his life in this area. 

Take a trip to the market town of Framlingham, home to a magnificent castle, a one time refuge of Mary Tudor. Combine this with a visit to nearby Saxtead Green Post Mill as an interesting addition to your day out. 

Don't miss one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time at Sutton Hoo, the Anglo-Saxon royal burial site.

For more information on things to do during your stay at New Inn, please see our Pinterest page. Discover local walks for dogs with our friends at, the dog walks community.

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
  • Yes. You are welcome to bring up to two dogs. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog.

    Please contact booking enquiries if you have an assistance dog, for which there is no charge.
  • From the main road.
  • Darsham – 3 miles.
  • Yes – there is a parking area for New Inn behind the garages. If there is no space, it may be necessary to park on the street.
  • The whole building has electric heating and there is underfloor heating in the Hall.
  • 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, a microwave and dishwasher.
  • There are three bathrooms, two with baths and one with a shower.
  • Yes, the stairs are steep.
  • There is a garden (not enclosed).
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.

Directly adjoining the King's Highway

In 1464 the Abbot of Sibton conveyed to John Kempe the triangle of land in Peasenhall called The Knowle or Knoll, directly adjoining the King's Highway. On it he built the hall-house which in 1478 was referred to as the New Inn. Until this time inns were a rarity, their role largely being fulfilled by the abbeys and monasteries, but by the 15th century, with the great increase in trade, and therefore in travellers, extra accommodation was needed and all over the country inns were being built to provide this.

At first glance it is hard to see how the New Inn differs from the house of, say, a well-to-do merchant. This is because medieval houses, whatever their purpose, followed a similar pattern; there was a central open hall, off one end of which were rooms on two floors for the family (the High End), and off the other, service rooms, pantries and such like (the Low End). But there are two ways in which the New Inn differs from these standard arrangements. Firstly, the accommodation at the High End is larger than usual, forming a wing extending into the courtyard at the back. This was to provide rooms both for the innkeeper's family and for the guests who would have had the use of the fine solar on the first floor. The second way in which the New Inn differs from ordinary houses is in having a large cellar for the brewing and storing of extra ale.

But in the New Inn, as elsewhere, the heart of the house was the hall, with its elaborate display of carpentry and carving in the open roof and large windows. Here the guests would gather to drink, eat and warm themselves at the central hearth. The food was prepared for them in a separate kitchen, across the rear courtyard. Round this courtyard were also the stables for travellers' horses and mules, as well as barns and haylofts. In its centre was the well.

In the 16th and 17th centuries many alterations were made to the New Inn, the chief of which were the insertion of a floor into the great open space of the hall and the building of brick chimneys in the hall and Low End. Plastered ceilings hid the timbers of open roof spaces. Additions were made at the southern end, which included a shop. The property was divided between different owners, but part of it seems to have continued to be an inn at least until the 18th century. Thereafter further alteration and division disguised the medieval character of the building, but some memory of this lingered on, so that when the derelict cottages into which it had declined were acquired in the 1950s by Blyth Rural District Council, they took some trouble to find out more about them before the demolition that was meant to be their fate. What they discovered resulted in the transfer of the whole row of buildings to the Landmark Trust in 1971.

Local tradition gave the New Inn the name of the Wool Hall, a building type honoured in Suffolk; in reality it is something rarer and more interesting, a forerunner of the great coaching inns which are such an important element in the High Streets of our country towns. No building is closer to our hearts and imaginations than the ancient inn and this is one of the earliest of them, looking very much as did in 1470.

A short history of New Inn

Read the full history album for New Inn

Download the children's Explorer pack for New Inn


In an advanced stage of dereliction

The restoration of New Inn was carried out in 1971-2, under the supervision of the architect, John Warren and with advice from Reginald Mason, an expert on timber-framed buildings. The building was in an advanced stage of dereliction and had been declared as unfit for habitation. The first task was to strip away all later accretions, inserted ceilings, plaster off the walls and so on, to see how much of the original frame survived.

The frame was found to be largely complete, but suffering badly from subsidence and from carelessly inserted dormer windows, which had weakened its structure and caused the outer walls to lean nearly 18-inches out of true. To solve this, all the rafters had to be taken off and the frame braced back in position. When the roof covering was put back the rather haphazard mixture of plain tiles and pantiles was rationalised, so that now there are plain tiles on the medieval part of the building and pantiles on the later additions. The ridge tiles are copies of two surviving medieval ones.

The hall itself was returned it to its 15th-century condition, taking out the inserted floor and any later timbers, and removing a later brick chimney. A brick panel marks where the original frame had been cut away to make room for it. Any new timber that had to be used for repairs - oak was used throughout - was left unfinished, so that it would be quite clear what was old and what was new. Although the windows in the hall had been covered up long ago, the slots for the mullions of the large windows all survived and we were able to put them back as they originally were. The floor tiles (a mix of ‘pamments’ and bricks) in the hall are mostly old. The wood stove echoes the position of the later chimney, and stands close to the place identified in the 1970s restoration as the former position of the open hearth (although such open hall hearths were more typically found in a more central position and we now believe the hearth must always have been nearer the centre of the hall). In the partition between the hall and the low end some panels of original wattle and daub survived, and these were retained. Elsewhere panels of wood-wool were inserted, as the closest modern equivalent to the medieval material, and then plastered.

In the high and low ends a less rigorous policy of stripping out was followed. For example in the Solar on the first floor the later ceiling joists have been left in situ, to show how the building was altered. Later fireplaces have also been left and of course most of the doors, though old, are not medieval. Both ends have new staircases.

The later additions south and west of the low end were very soundly built, probably in the 17th and 18th centuries, with a charm and character of their own. They have been preserved as a separate cottage. Some other outbuildings were taken down, however, to create the courtyard at the back.

In a separate phase of work the adjoining 19th-century brick cottages were renovated and then, a few years later, we bought the land in front of the New Inn, which now, with the closing of the road that ran across it, serves as a village green.

Until 2013, we ran New Inn as three separate Landmark units. The open hall, then unheated, was left as a communal space for all to share, and we came to feel that this was a shame. So in 2013, the hall has been fully insulated and, combining the best of traditional and modern heating methods, we installed both a woodstove and underfloor heating, exploiting renewable energy via an air source heat pump. To maximise the hall’s use, two of the smaller units (formerly known as High End and Low End) have been combined to make today’s single Landmark for eight. New Inn’s tradition of hospitality is now set to continue into the 21st century.

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.