The Red House, Aldeburgh

The Red House, Aldeburgh
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The Red House is the former home of Benjamin Britten and his partner the tenor Peter Pears. Hidden away by the golf course on the edge of the seaside town of Aldeburgh in Suffolk, the site is cherished by music-lovers worldwide as the setting for one of the greatest and most enduring creative partnerships of the last century.

Britten and Pears moved from their home on Crag Path in Aldeburgh to The Red House in November 1957. The composer eventually commented in a letter to Edith Sitwell that it was ‘alas, away from the sea, but thankfully away from the gaping faces... It is a lovely house, with a big garden all round...’

Come and enjoy the peaceful setting that Britten and Pears considered their retreat from their busy schedules of composing, concerts and recordings at home and abroad.

The Red House site includes:

The Gallery
Our engaging exhibition brings Britten’s music to life. Suitable for all ages.

The Red House
Walk through Britten and Pears’ home for twenty years and enjoy the eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary styles and their stunning art collection (open in high season only).

The Studio
The creative heart of the site where Britten worked on his music.

The Library
A beautiful, evocative space where Britten rehearsed and entertained.

The Gardens
Extensive grounds with lawns and borders awash with colour and with peaceful places to sit. Bring a picnic and play croquet and other outdoor games during the summer holidays.

The Archive
Award-winning home for Britten’s huge archive. Open by appointment and for special displays during the Aldeburgh Festival and at other times throughout the year.

Venue Type:

Historic house or home, Museum, Gallery, Garden, parklands or rural site, Heritage site, Archive

See also

Opening hours

Low Season (Wednesday 1 February - Friday 24 March)
Tuesday to Friday, 1pm - 4pm
The Studio, Library, exhibition rooms and Gardens will be open.

High Season (Tuesday 28 March - Saturday 28 October)
Tuesday to Saturday, 1pm - 5pm
The Red House and the whole site opens to the public.

The Red House is open for free-flow viewing from 2.30pm (last entry 4.30pm). A guided tour is available at 2pm (book in advance).

Aldeburgh Festival (Friday 9 - Sunday 25 June)
The whole site will be open daily from 11am - 4pm.

Free flow viewing of The Red House from 11am (last entry 3.30pm). There are no guided tours of The Red House during the Festival.

Site open for special events in November and December.

Bank Holidays
We are closed on bank holidays throughout the year.

For information on how to make a research visit to our reading room, please see the related record on the Britten–Pears Archive.

Admission charges

Site admission: £5 (valid for one year)
Under 16s: free
Guided house tours at 2pm: £2.50 (in addition to site entry)

Discounts

  • National Art Pass
Getting there

From the A12, take the A1094 to Aldeburgh. At the roundabout past the supermarket, take the first exit: the B1122 Leiston Road. Golf Lane is the second turning on the left, directly after the 40mph speed limit ends. Users of satnav and online mapping systems beware: you may be misdirected into Linden Close, from where there is no access to our site.

Additional info

Tea, coffee and cold drinks are available, along with a selection of books, CDs and DVDs. All areas of the site are wheelchair-accessible except for the Studio and the first floor of the house (a virtual tour of these rooms is available at reception).

Collection details

Architecture, Music, Personalities

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Mary Potter Exhibition

Mary Potter Exhibition

  • 21 March — 28 October 2017 *on now

Come and see a selection of paintings by Mary Potter in Britten’s Library. All artworks are from the Britten–Pears Foundation collection.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5.00 admission charge

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
The Red House Tours

The Red House Tours

  • 28 March — 28 October 2017 *on now

An informative guided tour given by our dedicated volunteers will offer the opportunity to explore both floors of Britten and Pears’ home. You will see original interiors and personal effects sitting alongside stunning artworks collected by the pair throughout their lives. Approx. 40 minutes and takes place Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£2.50 (in addition to £5 admission charge)

Website

https://thelittleboxoffice.com/brittenpears/event/view/57371

Cabaret

Aldeburgh Cinema: Cabaret

  • 3 July 2017 From 8pm
  • 17 July 2017 From 8pm

Made in 1972. Berlin 1931: American cabaret singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) meets British academic Brian Roberts (Michael York), who is finishing his university studies. Despite Brian’s confusion over his sexuality, the pair become lovers, and the arrival of the wealthy and decadent playboy Maximilian von Heune (Helmut Griem) complicates matters. This dramatic love triangle plays out against the rise of the Nazi party and the collapse of the Weimar Republic.

Admission

£6

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on?id=E3715

Art Tours

Art Tours

  • 7 July — 25 August 2017

Discover Britten and Pears’ extensive art collection on display in their home. As part of the current exhibition Queer Talk: Homosexuality in Britten’s Britain some paintings have been highlighted to complement the theme. These tours will run each Friday until September and will be delivered by our knowledgeable team of volunteers.

Admission

£2.50 (In addition to £5 admission charge)

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on?id=E3701

Summer at The Red House

Summer at The Red House

  • 22 July — 3 September 2017

The gardens will be open for visitors to picnic during the summer holidays. A family trail and outdoor games will be available, so all you need to bring is food and a blanket. Report to Reception for a map and family trail.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on?id=E3705

Fizz & Folksongs

Fizz & Folksongs I

  • 28 July 2017 5-6pm

The first in our ‘Fizz & Folksongs’ series: a programme of songs inspired by folk melodies, including settings by Britten, Copland and Tchaikovsky. We are delighted to welcome back the tenor Mitch Raemaekers, and he will be joined by pianist and composer Erik Desimpelaere.

Admission

£12.50

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on?id=E3707

My Beautiful Laundrette

Aldeburgh Cinema: My Beautiful Laundrette

  • 31 July 2017 From 8pm
  • 7 August 2017 From 8pm
  • 21 August 2017 From 8pm

Made in 1985. This classic Stephen Frears drama focuses on Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a young Pakistani man living in London, and his reunion and eventual romance with his old friend, a street punk named Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis). This, by turns, delicate and hard-hitting film addresses several polemical issues of the time, depicted within the social and economic climate of Thatcherism.

Admission

£6

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on?id=E3717

Fighting Proud

Fighting Proud

  • 4 August 2017 5-6pm

Stephen Bourne is the author of Fighting Proud: The Untold Story of the Gay Men Who Served in Two World Wars, due to be published in July 2017. In his astonishing new history of wartime Britain, he unearths the fascinating stories of the gay men who served in the armed forces and on the Home Front, bringing to light the great and previously unrecognised contribution they made to the war effort. Stephen will be discussing many stories of love and courage, including those of Alan Turing and Noël Coward, both of whom are featured in our Queer Talk exhibition.

Admission

£7.50

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on?id=E3709

Fizz & Folksongs

Fizz & Folksongs II

  • 25 August 2017 5-6pm

The second in our ‘Fizz & Folksongs’ series: a programme of songs inspired by folk melodies, including settings by Britten and Mahler. Mezzo-soprano Joanna Arnold (also performing this summer at Opera Holland Park) is joined by pianist Orlando Shamlou.

Admission

£12.50

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on?id=E3711

Getting there

From the A12, take the A1094 to Aldeburgh. At the roundabout past the supermarket, take the first exit: the B1122 Leiston Road. Golf Lane is the second turning on the left, directly after the 40mph speed limit ends. Users of satnav and online mapping systems beware: you may be misdirected into Linden Close, from where there is no access to our site.

The Red House, Aldeburgh
Golf Lane
Aldeburgh
Suffolk
IP15 5PY
England

Website

Britten–Pears Foundation website

www.brittenpears.org

E-mail

enquiries@brittenpears.org

Telephone

01728 451700

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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