Ancient House Museum

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Clare Ancient House is a Grade I listed building recognized as having national importance. The West wing on the High Street is believed to date from the 14th century. The more heavily decorated East wing facing the church with its remarkable pargetting was built in or around 1473 the date which appears in the plaster work. The building is first mentioned in a will of 1502 which refers to ‘the old and the new parts’.

The house was given to the town in 1938 by Charles Byford, a local business man, to be put to a useful public purpose. In 1979 a museum was established on the site but in 1999 with aid of various grants the house was refurbished and the museum completely redesigned. The house is now partly occupied by the Landmark Trust which makes its part available on short holiday lettings, and partly by the Museum. Exhibitions in the Museum tell the history of the Town, of the Lords and Ladies who once lived in Clare and of the ordinary people who lived and worked here. The Museum features extensive computerised records providing a mine of information for those interested in genealogy and the history of the Town, its people and its buildings. 


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  • 26 High Street
  • Clare
  • Suffolk
  • UK