A new book coming soon:
Wingfield College and the Dukes of Suffolk, based on the 1362 Wingfield History Symposium...
In 2012 Wingfield College and church
celebrated their 650th anniversary. Now a book is being published,
to record the academic symposium, and to cover the latest
research into Wingfield, the de la Poles, and chantry colleges. It will
include digital reconstructions of the college and Wingfield castle. Click
for more details about the book, and
HERE for information about last
One of the most extraordinary houses in
Suffolk, the grand Georgian facade of Wingfield College conceals a rare
mediaeval survival: the remnants of a chantry college of priests,
complete with a cloister walk and a Great Hall from 1362. It is part of
the origins and history of education in England and a reflection of the great
wealth and power of mediaeval East Anglia.
Now a private family home, the site of the old college is of rare historical and archaeological
interest. It is associated with many important and colourful historical
characters, including The Black Prince, Mary Tudor, Henry VIII and the de
la Pole family (the Dukes of Suffolk and one of the most
powerful families in mediaeval England).
It is one of the largest surviving timber-framed buildings of its type
Fascinating interiors include a spectacular galleried Medieval Great
Hall (incorporating a Fourteenth Century queen-post truss with a Tudor
cambered tie-beam); a corridor running behind the west range which
formed part of the original 14th century cloister; and a mixture of
Mediaeval, Tudor and Georgian rooms.
The unusual gardens include the
eighteenth century carriage driveway, a William and Mary walled garden
with radical modern planting, mediaeval fishponds, wild flower meadows, woodland walks, and a unique
eccentric topiary garden on the site of the mediaeval courtyard.
Among numerous entries in historic and
architectural reference books, Wingfield College has three stars in
Simon Jenkins' bestselling guide: "Englandís Thousand Best Houses". It
has been featured in Country Life and Gardening Today.
For the last four years the University
of East Anglia has been carrying out a research programme and
archaeology programme at Wingfield college and castle, including geophysics surveys
and a digital reconstruction of the college in the late mediaeval
period. Some of the fruits of this research will be visible to visitors
this year. Eventually we intend to put a lot of extra information here
on the website. This is part of UEA's ongoing
Virtual Past project, in
association with the School of History and the
Centre for East Anglian Studies.
It is also part of UEA's
to the public in 2013....
2013 the house and gardens will be open to the public
for pre-booked guided tours. Please click
here for more details and the
opportunity to book.
By arrangement, some charities and local history groups will be
visiting the College this year. If you run a group and
would like to arrange a special visit please click
here to contact us.
Note: Students or Researchers with a
particular interest in the architecture or history of Mediaeval Chantry
Colleges are also very welcome to contact the College about arranging a
visit. Please click
here to contact us.
Wingfield College is
a member of the Historic Houses Association