Discover: Belchamp Walter
Belchamp Hall stands in the little Essex village of Belchamp Walter, just 6 km south of Sudbury on the Suffolk/Essex border. Both Lovejoys and The Lovejoy Studio sit within the walls of the estate.
The name Belchamp is possibly derived from the old English word ‘Bylcham’, which means a house with a beamed roof.
A folly can be seen from Belchamp Hall, built at the beginning of the 18th century this ‘eye catcher’ entertains as you look out over Belchamp Hall’s 1500 acres of land.
The Church of St Mary the Virgin which dates back to the 10th Century is just opposite the Hall. This is beautiful church with a pretty timbered porch.
Inside you will find an image of our lady St Mary the virgin which was painted in the 14th century. It was covered over and the time of the reformation and rediscovered on 1926. The nave of the church contains many other wall paintings which were discovered and conserved in the 1960’s. The Church regularly appeared in the television series Lovejoy.
The churchyard at the Church of St Mary the Virgin overlooks the beautiful valley of the Belchamp Brook, where there are some lovely walks along side the Canal Folly built by Belchamp Hall or one of the pretty footpaths winding round the Mill pond and down along the brook.
Food and Drink
The Pheasant at Gestingthorpe is a great local pub awarded winner of Best Food Pub in East Anglia 2011, and Finalist for the Best Gastro Pub in Essex 2011 and AA Pub of the Year for England 2014/15.
Owners Diana & James have transformed the business since taking over with the addition of a Smoke House.
They successfully combine the provision of enjoyable food, a great pub atmosphere and a warm welcome. Comfortable chairs, beautiful oak tables and an open fire create an intimate and friendly atmosphere. They want their guests to know where they are in the country, and what time of year it is when it comes to the menu
The Pheasant is set in the middle of rural countryside, ideal to cycle from Belchamp Walter being 2.9 miles away along country lanes.
Please call 01787 461196 to book at table in advance.
The Bulmer Fox
Great local bistro style restaurant in a country pub setting. Set approximately 5 miles away from Belchamp Hall.
The Bulmer Fox don’t take bookings, they work on a first come first served basis. If the restaurant is full, they start a waiting list, while waiting you can enjoy a drink at the bar and browse the menu. Their Sunday lunch is particularly good, but it does tend to get busy at the weekends.
The Red Lion Belchamp Otten
The Otten Red Lion is about 3 miles from Belchamp Hall and is a wonderfully rural pub located on the Essex/ Suffolk border with log fires and real ales, a great pub for beer drinkers! They welcome walkers, cyclists, dogs and children. They also have traditional pub games and a beer garden.
The Lovejoy Connection
Much of Belchamp Walter and the surrounding villages were used as a backdrop for the BBC TV hit ‘Lovejoy’. In fact the Lovejoy cottage we have on our books used to be the rouge antique dealers own workshop!
The Church of St Mary was once featured in an episode when Lovejoy was due to get married, and the beautiful Belchamp Hall was known as ‘Felsham Hall’ in the series. You can read more about the Lovejoy connection by visiting our Lovejoy page.
While here it would be a shame not to visit these beautiful villages, which are within 10 miles of Belchamp Hall…
Long Melford is nearly three miles long, making it one of the longest villages in England. Its broad main street is edged with facades that allow you to trace the architecture down through the ages – Tudor, Georgian and Victorian all supporting a mix of shops, inns and restaurants.
There are a great mix of shops including antiques, interior, books art and pottery. It has a wonderful selection of eateries for either a pub lunch or fine dining.
Long Melford has two Tudor Halls to choose from, both being open to the public. Melford Hall belongs to the National Trust and has various open days throughout the year.
Kentwell Hall is privately owned and has made a specialism of ‘living history’ recreations. Tel: 01787 310207
Nearby Cavendish is has long enjoyed a popularity with the photographers who scour the county looking for idyllic scenes of English country life. It has a charming church and pink thatched cottages grouped on the green. Cavendish has again some lovely places to eat.
The George is particular favourite serving high quality food guided by the season. Tel: 01787 280248
Whilst you are in this part of Suffolk don’t miss out on Clare which packs a lot of history for such a small town and has some excellent shops and watering holes.
A town trail will take you around the chief sights and sites. Look out for the Ancient house which houses a tiny museum. Also visit Clare Castle Country Park for a walk or to follow the history.