DiCamillo Companion

Elveden Hall (Elvedon Hall)

  • Earlier Houses: There was an 18th century house on the site, parts of which were incorporated into the current 19th century house.

    House & Family History: In 1849 Maharajah Duleep Singh, the 11-year-old ruler of the Punjab and owner of the famous Koh-i-noor Diamond, was overthrown by the East India Company. In 1863 he purchased the 17,000-acre Elveden Estate and engaged John Norton to rebuild the exteriors of the existing Georgian house in an Italianate style; in the 1870s Norton redesigned the interiors in an Indian Moghul style. The maharajah loved shooting and held famously lavish shooting parties at Elveden that attracted royalty and the aristocracy. The maharajah suffered from the agricultural depression that hit England in the late 19th century and left Elveden and England in 1886. After his death in 1893 the maharajah's executors sold Elveden Hall (in 1894) to Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh (the story of the maharajah is featured in Michael Alexander's 1980 book, "Queen Victoria's Maharajah: Duleep Singh, 1838-93"). Lord Iveagh doubled the size of the house and added the Indian Hall in homage to the mararajah. Elveden today is house of three stories by 25 bays, with a central dome. During World War II the house was occupied by the U.S. Air Force. Since the 1980s Elveden Hall has stood empty; the Guinness family lives in a smaller house on the estate.

    Collections: Most of the contents of Elveden Hall were sold at Christie's May 21-24, 1984 for £6,162,719, including items once owned by Maharajah Singh. The Suffolk Record Office purchased the archives in 1986. On September 14, 2023 the remaining contents of Elveden, together with contents from Farmleigh House, Dublin, were auctioned by Sworders.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The Grade II*-listed Elveden War Memorial, which stands on the A11 trunk road where Elveden, Icklingham, and Eriswell meet, was designed to memorialize the 48 men from the three parishes who died during World War I (the names of the six men from the parishes who were killed in World War II were added later). The north side of the base has a door that leads to a 148-step staircase that rises to the full height of the memorial. The other three sides are carved with the names of the dead of the three parishes, with each side facing the respective parish. The memorial, which was commissioned by the 1st Earl of Iveagh, was designed by Clyde Francis Young as a 128-foot-tall Corinthian column topped off by a Portland stone funerary urn. It seems likely that the design was inspired by the 44-foot-tall 1st century AD Column of Phocas in the Roman Forum, which was frequently reproduced in miniature as souvenirs for Grand Tourists (see “Images” section). It has been speculated that Lord Iveagh wanted to emulate and outshine the famous 124-foot-tall Leicester Column on the Holkham Hall Estate. On November 21, 1921, the memorial was unveiled by Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson and dedicated by the Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. In attendance was Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, whose father, Maharajah Duleep Singh, created the modern Elveden Hall. In the late 19th century Duleep Singh built an aviary that was home to many exotic birds, including buzzards, golden pheasants, parrots, and Icelandic Gyrfalcons, among others. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries Elveden was famous for its large shooting parties that attracted the cream of Victorian and Edwardian society. Elveden is today the center of a 23,000-acre estate.

  • Architect: Clyde Francis Young

    Date: 1920-21
    Designed: Elveden War Memorial for 1st Earl of Iveagh

    View all houses

    Architect: Clyde Francis Young

    Date: 1899-1903
    Designed: Worked with father, William Young, on Indian style additions for 1st Earl of Iveagh.

    View all houses

    Architect: William Young

    Date: 1899-1903
    Designed: Worked with son, Clyde Francis Young, on Indian style additions for 1st Earl of Iveagh.

    View all houses

    Architect: John Norton

    Date: Circa 1879
    Designed: Rebuilt Georgian house for Maharajah Duleep Dingh

    View all houses
  • Title: National Geographic (magazine)
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Nov 1985, pg. 674
    Publisher: Washington, DC: National Geographic Society
    ISBN: 00279358
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
    Author: Sayer, Michael
    Year Published: 1993
    Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
    ISBN: 0859551970
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Burke's & Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
    Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
    Year Published: 1981
    Reference: pg. 230
    Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
    ISBN: 0850110351
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • "The Living Daylights" (1987 - for the banquet shooting scene). "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999 - as interiors of Somerton, the Long Island mansion where the orgy takes place). "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" (2001). "Agatha Christie's Poirot: Cat Among the Piegons" (2008 - TV series, as the interior of the Indian hall). "My Talks with Dean Spanley" [aka "Dean Spanley"] (2008). "Jupiter Ascending" (2014). "All the Money in the World" (2017 - as the Moroccan palace).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Arthur Edward Rory Guinness, 4th Earl of Iveagh; Iveagh family here since 1894.

    Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT 18TH CENTURY HOUSE: Admiral Keppel, 18th century. SEATED AT 19TH CENTURY HOUSE: Maharajah Duleep Singh, 1863-93. Edward Cecil Guinness, Baron Iveagh, Viscount Elveden, and 1st Earl of Iveagh, 1894-1927; Rupert Edward Cecil Lee Guinness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh, 1927-67; Arthur Francis Benjamin Guinness, 3rd Earl of Iveagh, 1967-92.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

    Ownership Details: Lord and Lady Iveagh live in a smaller house on the estate.

  • House Open to Public: Limited Access to Grounds Only

    Phone: 01842-890-223

    Fax: 01842-890-070

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.elveden.com

    Historic Houses Member: No


Help preserve Britain’s privately owned country houses by joining Historic Houses. Use code DICAM7 for a £7 discount off a new membership that will give you access to hundreds of historic houses.

Join Now