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Bruisyard Hall: Heritage, Conservation and Sustainability

Both Bruisyard Hall and Bruisyard Barn underwent a massive renovation and refurbishment in recent years. Bruisyard Hall, originally built in the 1300’s, has been both an abbey and private residence over the past 660 years, with it more recently, since the 1990s, being used as a country house retreat.

Bruisyard Barn, dating back to the late 1500s, was originally the stable block to the Hall and later a farm building. Both properties have been refurbished to a very high standard with attention respectfully given to heritage, conservation and sustainability.

Original materials were retained, repaired or used during the renovation process including timber beams and pammets dating back hundreds of years, whilst adding modern fittings throughout.

Throughout the renovation, we were early adoptors of new energy saving and sustainable technology which included upgrading the down-lights to LEDs and to have one of the first woodchip boilers installed and commissioned not only in Suffolk but the country. Our 153Kw woodchip boiler (provided by the local company, Energy Innovations), heats both Bruisyard Hall and Barn as well as allowing us to better manage the 150 acre Bruisyard Wood (in turn rejuvenating the woodland) which is just north of the Hall. A back up oil boiler is still connected and able to provide a secondary source of heat if required, however this has only been necessary on a few occasions since 2012.

We also installed a 49.5Kw solar array on the roof of the building storing the woodchip that has been providing the electricity to the site since last year. This project was in conjunction with a 3-phase power upgrade which we paid for as part of the installation and provides a more sustainable and efficient system and helps us to save energy in the long term.

Both renewable installations and a continuous focus on improving the sustainability of Bruisyard Hall (even through minor changes such as the addition of glass recycling) has meant that we are close to being one of the first carbon neutral tourism businesses in Suffolk and East Anglia.

Aside from plans to continue renovations and improvements to the buildings we are also looking to what changes, no matter how small, we can make to improve the local environment. Some changes we have already made and continue to make throughout the site, include the following:

-       Rejuvenation of ponds

-       Management and rejuvenation of woodland

-       Installation of owl boxes (there are already over 35 owl boxes on the farm)

-       Planting of trees and hedgerows to encourage natural wildlife

It is also our intention to continue to grow the number of tours of Bruisyard, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy and learn about the Suffolk countryside.