April has been a good month here at Columbine Hall. We have just got our copy of the new Suffolk:West volume of The Buildings of England, compiled by Dr James Bettley and Nikolaus Pevsner. We knew that the house was being photographed and we crossed our fingers that a picture would actually be included in the book. To our delight, one photograph appears on the important back cover (with Bury St Edmund’s cathedral on the front.) So our house has been considered one of the most photogenic building in the whole region. There’s also another photograph inside and Dr Bettley describes the building as ‘an enchanting moated house.’ What’s more, Melvyn Smith’s brilliant conversion of some very dull farm buildings into a C17 style clock tower also gets a mention. This contrasts with Pevsner’s original Suffolk volume which gives our house only a sentence. This may be because the previous owner, a farmer, tended to see visitors off with a shotgun.
At the same time, Columbine Hall’s gardens appear in a newly published German book, Die geheimen Garten von England (England’s Secret Gardens) by Heidi Howcroft and Marianne Majerus but, our German being nil, we can’t actually tell you what it says. A translation is on its way. The garden is one of only 25 chosen by the authors.
Columbine’s interior is open under Invitation to View on May 9, June 13, July 9, July 17, August 4 and 26. Our gardens are open under the National Gardens Scheme on May 10, in aid of the village of Stowupland on June 14 and for the Red Cross on June 28. And at any other time by appointment.