Sutton House

East London

It would be quite possible to walk straight past this relatively inconspicuous brick house without noticing its great age. Originally known as Bryk Place, it was built in 1535 by Sir Ralph Sadleir, a prominent courtier of Henry VIII, when Hackney was still a village. Highlights include the Linenfold Parlour, where the Tudor oak panelling on the walls has been carved to resemble draped cloth, the panelled Great Chamber, the Victorian study, and the Georgian parlour.

Abandoned and taken over by squatters in the 1980s, Sutton House could have been lost to history. Enter the National Trust, which has set about conserving and preserving it – including some of the squatters' artwork upstairs. The house is also used by community groups for language classes and music therapy.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby East London attractions

1. St Augustine’s Tower

0.18 MILES

Set at the edge of the beautiful St John’s Churchyard Gardens, this 13th-century tower is the oldest building in Hackney and the only remains of a church…

2. Hackney Museum

0.36 MILES

Devoted to items relating to Hackneyites past and present, this interesting little museum is as diverse as the ethnically mixed community it serves. Most…

3. London Fields

0.71 MILES

A strip of green in an increasingly hip part of Hackney, London Fields is where locals hang out after a meander up Broadway Market. The park also has two…

4. Victoria Park

0.98 MILES

The ‘Regent’s Park of the East End’, this 86-hectare leafy expanse of ornamental lakes, monuments, tennis courts, flower beds and lawns was opened in 1845…

6. Ridley Road Market


Massively popular with the ethnically diverse community it serves, this market is best for its exotic fruit and vegetables, whole fish and colourful…

7. Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

1.03 MILES

This garden is typical of the kind of grassroots regeneration happening around Dalston: a project led by the community, for the community – and a roaring…

8. V&A Museum of Childhood

1.36 MILES

Housed in a purpose-built Victorian-era building, this branch of the Victoria & Albert Museum is aimed at both kids (with play areas, interactive exhibits…