The Old Sun Inn is a captivating and much-cherished Grade I-listed historic building that displays some of the best pargeting – external decorative plasterwork – in England. Originally medieval houses, then later an inn, the property has subsequently been in mixed commercial and domestic use.
Located in the town’s historic hub, the Old Sun Inn comprises 29-31 Church Street and 17 Market Hill (previously, for many years, Lankester Antiques & Books) as well as 25-27 Church Street. The latter has been owned by Douglas Kent since 2009 and the former, with a business partner, since March 2023.
The building is timber-framed with 14th-century origins and overhanging or ‘jettied’ upper floors. The renowned pargeting dates from the 17th century onwards. Major refurbishment is underway, including conservation of the pargeting, which has won a prestigious Museums + Heritage award.
Now is a good time to visit and learn about the gentle approach to work being adopted and future plans for the building.
Visitors with pre-purchased tickets can join one of our regularly scheduled tours or other publicised events. The building may be open at further advertised times. Alternatively, private visits can be arranged or rooms hired for an agreed fee.
Tours include an introductory talk on the building, its history and the current work by owner Douglas Kent, the Technical and Research Director at the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Visitors can then explore the building with the aid of handouts. Each tour lasts approximately one-and-a-half hours and includes tea, coffee, homemade cakes and biscuits.
Talks on the building or related topics (held either at the house or a venue of your choice) are also possible. These are intended to suit local history societies, for example, or architectural/surveying practices looking for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities. Events can be tailored to suit particular interests, such as the conservation of pargeting or research into architectural paint or wallpaper. They are for visitors who have been before and wish to delve into a different angle as well as groups with a specific focus. To discuss your requirements, please make contact via www.oldsuninn.com
These events attract a wide range of people but appeal particularly to those with an interest in the informed and sensitive refurbishment of old buildings. Whether you are a local resident, tourist who plans to visit Saffron Walden, someone specialising in the field or are simply enthusiastic about our heritage, don’t miss the chance to discover more about the Old Sun Inn.
- Coach parties accepted
- On-site light refreshments
- Public toilets
- Welcome host
- Accepts groups
- Smoking not allowed
No wheelchair access. The ground floor is accessible to the infirm but stairs to other levels are unsuitable for those with mobility limitations.
Tours £15.00 per person, including refreshments. Prices for other events depend on type and length.
25-31 Church Street and 17 Market Hill,