The House from a 1907 postcard
The House from an early 20th century postcard
Earlier Houses: An earlier 17th century house was enlarged, 1844-51, by John Thomas into the current house.
Built / Designed For: Sir Samuel Morton Peto
House & Family History: Somerleyton is the poster child for new money emulating old. Samuel Peto (his son was the famous landscape designer Harold Peto) made a fortune as a railroad contractor and property developer in the 19th century and was determined to show the world that he'd arrived. He took a small 17th century house and gargantuanized it into a Victorian house in the popular Jacobean style. Inside there is stained glass by Ballantyne of Edinburgh and over-the-top carving by Willcox of Warwick, complemented by work by Grinling Gibbons. In 1863 Somerleyton was sold to the Halifax carpet manufacturer Sir Francis Crossley, another man "in trade" who'd done very well for himself.
Collections: Somerleyton contains a fine collection of paintings, with works by Wright of Derby, Stanfield, and Landseer, the latter two artists' pieces set into paneling in the House's formal rooms. There is also a very grand collection of statues.
Garden & Outbuildings: William Andrews Nesfield designed the gardens. Sir Joseph Paxton designed the glasshouses. The yew hedge maze dates from 1846.
J.B. Burke: Vol. I, p. 38, 1852.
J.P. Neal: Vol. IV, 1821.
Title: Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
Year Published: 1981
Publisher: London: Burke's Peeerage
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade II
Park Listed: Not Listed
Seat of: Hugh Francis Savile Crossley, 4th Baron Somerleyton.
Past Seat of: Sir Samuel Morton Peto, 1844-63. Sir Francis Crossley, 1863-72.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
Ownership Details: .