Elveden Hall

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Gate leading to grounds of Elveden Hall

Elveden Hall is a large privately owned house overlooking the large Elveden Estate in Elveden, Suffolk, England. It is located centrally to the village and is close to the A11 and the Parish Church. It is a Grade II* listed building. [1]

Early life of the house[edit]

The exact date of the hall's first construction is unknown but it is known to have been anciently appropriated by Bury Abbey. It was later given by Henry VIII to the Duke of Norfolk. After passing through the ownerships of the Crisp and Tyrell families, it came into the ownership of Admiral Keppel. He died without issue in 1796, when it then passed to his nephew, the Earl of Albemarle[2] who sold it to MP William Newton in 1813.

The Maharajah (1849-1894)[edit]

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.

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 insides to resemble the fine Mughal palaces that he had been accustomed to back in his childhood. He also extended his building work to include 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 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.

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 Elveden Hall in 1894 to Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh.

The Earls of Iveagh (1894-present day)[edit]

The Guinness brewing family purchased Elveden Hall in 1894.

The hall was used during the Second World War as a headquarters for the USAAF (and unfortunately the staff quarters were struck and destroyed by a bomb). By the 1980s, the large Hall provided a home only to a caretaker and so the family sold off the entire contents with auctioneers Christie's between 21–24 May 1984. The sale included a number of elaborate items that would have once been owned or used by the Maharajah.

The hall now stands empty, aside from its use as an occasional film location. Owners of the house since 1894 have included:

The Heir Apparent is the present holder's son Arthur Benjamin Geoffrey Guinness, Viscount Elveden (b. 2003)

Filming location[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Elveden Hall, Elveden". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  2. ^ History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Suffolk, and the Towns Near Its Borders (White, William, 1844)
  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.
  • Bance, Peter. The Duleep Singhs: The Photographic Album of Queen Victoria's Maharajah: Photo Album of Queen Victoria's Maharajah (2004) Sutton Publishing, 2004.
  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Page
  • Edward Cecil Guinness

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°23′07″N 0°40′47″E / 52.3852°N 0.6797°E / 52.3852; 0.6797