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Auction offers rare glimpse of lost Hardwick House in Bury St Edmunds

An auction of historical mementos has provided a rare glimpse of a lost manor house in Bury St Edmunds.

Diaries, journals and letters belonging to Lady Ann Cullum, of Hardwick House, will be sold at Sworders, in Stansted Mountfitchet, on September 10 and 11.

The remarkable archive is from the collection of Rodney Whitworth, of Walsham-le-Willows.

It includes a family scrapbook of about 100 drawings and watercolours with views of the house and its gardens.

The Cullum family, experts in Suffolk county history as well as antiquarian and botanical matters, lived at Hardwick House for almost three centuries.

The estate was sold when the last family member died without a direct heir and Hardwick was dismantled for building materials in 1926.

Among the other items are an album of about 160 letters sent to the Cullum family in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Highlights include eight letters from novelist William Makepeace Thackeray and 24 lines by abolitionist William Wilberforce.