When Teresa and Robert Rous inherited Bruisyard Hall from Robert’s father in the mid-80s, they had a shared love of the fascinating history of this former nunnery, farm and stately home, and a great desire to return it to its former glory. Now they want people to come and enjoy the splendour of this property for many years to come.
And its extraordinary history takes in both Teresa and Robert’s separate claims to the house. Teresa’s mother’s maiden name was Scrope and back in 1354 her ancestor, Anne Scrope, was one of six Poor Clare nuns chosen to live at Bruisyard Hall, then known as Roke Hall alongside the recently widowed Maud of Ulster. This royal connection ensured the Abbey at Roke Hall survived longer than many other religious houses in England under Henry VIII. Interestingly, around 1530 there is mention of a Frances Rous, a member of Robert’s family, who would have been one of the last nuns living in the Abbey.
When John Rous took over Bruisyard Hall in the 17th Century, he lived at Henham Hall, and Bruisyard Hall was left to slowly deteriorate. Only basic repairs were done to the house during the Elizabethan and Victorian periods, leaving much of its medieval charm and history intact, something quite unique for a large house like this.
When Robert, Teresa and their family inherited Bruisyard Hall they held a great respect for the legacy of the house. For decades they poured heart, soul – and plenty of their own money – into restoring the building. The first ten years were spent stabilising the roof and structure. There were moments of despair, too. When a hurricane destroyed one of the main chimneys a decision had to be made, demolish the Hall or continue the restoration. They remained steadfast, and slowly the beauty of the Hall returned.
As Robert emphasises, it’s a home, not a hotel. “We wanted to make Bruisyard Hall feel homely, not just another wedding or event factory, so to speak. You can take your shoes off and put your feet up by the fireplace. Really take your three days to settle in and feel at home. We’ve had large families book Christmas here, they love the privacy and the feeling of being at home in such an authentic corner of Suffolk.”
The quirks and décor of the house have been kept intact, but with an eye for modern luxury and comfort.
When guests enter through the grand hallway, they’ll have access to a dining hall with polished oak table and plush seating for up to 24 guests. Ideal for a conference with a difference, discussing the day’s events, or even having a delicious Christmas feast for the extended family.
There’s an oak floored games room with billiard table, flat screen TV with Sky and armchairs you can melt into – Invaluable space and additional entertainment. There’s also a kitchen area with modern appliances so you can enjoy preparing a hearty meal, or have the Bruisyard chefs prepare one for you.
Views of the surrounding estate can be enjoyed from the house, or should you feel like it, you can take a wander around the private 700 acre stretch of green Suffolk countryside. The medieval landscape of the farmland has been preserved. The Rous family want people to be able to look out on the same view that Thomas Rous did all those centuries ago. The front of the house also has plenty of off-road parking for guests.
And the barn that once housed Robert’s pedigree Friesian cows has been converted into a grand setting for larger wedding and event parties. The exposed oak beams, wooden floors and high ceiling still retain the feel of their medieval history, with great natural light and views of rolling farmland.
Behind the scenes there is a friendly and dedicated team that works hard to make your stay at Bruisyard Hall perfect and unforgettable. From preparing and serving locally sourced food and maintaining excellent cleanliness in the rooms, to pleasing the quirks and whims of guests. They even managed to source a tractor for a bride to arrive on at a recent wedding. They’ll work closely with guests to figure out what is needed and go the extra mile to make every event as special as possible.
If you want to spread your special day over a luxurious long weekend, give your corporate event a truly special setting, or even make your family reunion a talking point for years to come, then visit www.bruisyardhall.com, or call 01728 639 000 to make arrangements with the friendly team today.