The Red House

Suffolk, IP15 5PZ

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The house Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears shared for nearly two decades has been carefully restored to how it would have looked in the mid-1960s.

The house celebrates the work of the composer Benjamin Britten and his long-term personal and professional partner, Peter Pears.

The couple moved to Red House on the outskirts of Aldeburgh in 1957, wishing to lead a more private life than they could at their seafront property (Britten's fame was at its height at this time). They agreed to exchange houses with the artist Mary Potter, who was looking to downsize, and whose home they knew well having joined her for tennis matches in its large garden.

The couple were delighted to be away from 'the gaping faces' and to finally have the space to create a studio where Britten could 'bang away to [his] heart’s content'. They lived at Red House for the rest of their lives.

Today the house has been recreated to look as it would have in the 1960s, based on a 1965 room inventory and the memories of their families and friends.

It reflects a normal domestic home of the 1950-80s; as well as everyday items it also includes their personal possessions – for example, Pears' collections of decorative Staffordshire-style Kings Charles spaniels, a sewing kit once belonging to Britten's sister Beth and the pair's monogrammed suitcases and clothes.

The couple amassed a considerable art collection of around 1300 works, including pieces by John Piper, Sidney Nolan, Georg Ehrlich, Mary Potter, William Blake and David Hockney.

Venue information

Opening times

Tuesday 1 March – Sunday 28 October 2018
1-5pm (House open 2.30pm). Last admission 4pm
Closed on bank holidays throughout the year.

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