This event was cancelled due to travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 viral outbreak.  Information that follows is only for historic purposes.  

From Monday, 29 June - Sunday, 5 July 2020, the Friends of Long Melford Building Trust arranged many interesting events for The Clopton Family Association.  There is room for only 85 persons to attend.

Clopton Family Reunion - Long Melford

Based at the Bull Hotel, Long Melford

Built in 1450, the historic timbered Bull Hotel has been welcoming visitors since 1570.

Monday, June 29 - Sunday, July 5, 2020 (Limit of 85 people)

Priced per adult.  

Reduced pricing for children (under 16 as of June 29, 2020)

  • Get a copy of the Registration Letter for the 2020 CFA Reunion here.
  • You must be a current CFA member to attend.  If you are not a member but would like to attend, you may pay dues online or contact Pat Clopton-Wheeler at for more information.
  • Transportation to England and lodging reservations in Long Melford are not included in this price.  A list of hotels and B&Bs in Long Melford has been compiled to assist you in making lodging reservations.  
  • Important information and travel advice for both Long Melford and London are also available for your review.
  • Breakfast each day is included in the price of hotels & B&Bs.  All other meals are the responsibility of the traveler unless otherwise stated in bold below.

A message from the Long Melford Planning Committee: 

“We very much hope that you enjoy the Reunion and Tour and look forward to the next Long Melford Reunion of the CFA in  2026.” 

Monday, June 29 - Arrival Day

CFA members boarding buses at Heathrow Airport in 2014Boarding buses at Heathrow in 2014CFA Members will be met at Baggage Claim at Heathrow Airport in the UK by a member of the Long Melford Reunion Planning Committee.  After all CFA members’ flights have arrived, we will be directed to a bus for transport to Long Melford.  We recommend you exchange US currency for British currency at the airport, if needed.  Upon arrival in Long Melford, you will be taken to The Bull Hotel for registration.  Then you will be directed or taken to your specific place of accommodation while in Long Melford.  6:30 PM: Buffet Dinner at The Bull Hotel.  Dress is smart casual

Tuesday, June 30 - Cambridge

Cambridge UniversityCambridge UniversityBreakfast at your hotel or B&B.  Depart from the Bull Hotel on chartered bus for Cambridge, where Cambridge University (alma mater of many of our ancestors) is located.  Visit Fitzwilliam Museum or other Cambridge tourist attractions of your choice, such as King's College Chapel, punting along the Cam River where you can see the backs of the colleges and the back of King’s College Chapel, or shopping.  Before we move on, there will be time for lunch (on our own) at the renowned Brown's Restaurant or one of the many local cafes.  Visit the Cambridge American Cemetery (honoring American heroes who died in the UK during WWII).  Return to Long Melford by bus for dinner (on our own) at local pubs/eateries.

Wednesday, July 1 - A Day in Long Melford

Holy Trinity Church, Long MelfordHoly Trinity ChurchBreakfast at your hotel or B&B.  Guided tour of Long Melford's cathedral-like Holy Trinity Church, featuring the Clopton Chantry Chapel, Sir William Clopton's tomb, and one of the best displays of Medieval stained-glass artwork in England.  Light lunch while enjoying a lunchtime concert at Holy Trinity.  Visit the Long Melford Heritage Centre across from The Bull Hotel.  Afternoon free to explore more of the Heritage Centre and/or visit Long Melford's pubs, antique stores, other shops, and tea rooms.  Enjoy a real "English Barbecue" for dinner at Scutchers Restaurant.

Thursday, July 2 - Groton, St. Bartholomew's Church, Castling's Hall, and Lavenham

St. Bartholomew's Church, GrotonSt. Bartholomew's Church, GrotonBreakfast at your hotel or B&B.  Assemble at the Bull Hotel for departure by chartered bus for St. Bartholomew's Church in Groton.  Take a short ride to Castlings Hall for a full cold buffet lunch and Part 1 of the Clopton Rose Ceremony with the Mayor of Hadleigh.  Move on to explore Lavenham, one of the best examples of a Medieval Wool town and location of the exterior of the childhood movie home of Harry Potter.  Return to Long Melford.  Dine (on our own) at local pubs/eateries.

Friday, July 3 - Clare Priory and Chipley Priory

Plaque at the site of Chipley PrioryPlaque at the site of Chipley PrioryBreakfast at your hotel or B&B before meeting at The Bull Hotel where Jonnie Wilson will present information about Joan of Acre, a Clopton ancestor who is buried at Clare Priory.  We'll then board a chartered bus to Clare Priory (established by Clopton ancestor Richard de Clare in 1248) and be treated to a coffee upon arrival, followed by a tour and lecture.  Afterward, we can wander the lovely gardens of Clare Priory before enjoying lunch with the Brothers of the religious order.  Before moving on, we'll visit Clare Castle Country Park Museum, Parish church, Clare Museum, etc.  We depart by chartered bus for Poslingford to visit Chipley Priory where ancient Cloptons figured prominently before returning to Long Melford.  Dine (on our own) at Long Melford pubs/eateries.

Saturday, July 4 - Day in Long Melford

Kentwell Hall, Long MelfordKentwell HallBreakfast at your hotel or B&B.  Attend morning CFA business meeting at the Bull Hotel to vote for officers, hear a financial report, and elect officers.  Lunch (on our own).  Afternoon visit to the Tudor-era Kentwell Hall, residence for two centuries of the Cloptons and now home of the Phillips family.  Attend farewell evening gathering hosted by Sir Richard and Lady Hyde-Parker at the magnificant Melford Hall with a Finger Buffet.  Dress is smart casual.

Sunday, July 5 - Rose Ceremony at Holy Trinity Church and Depart Long Melford

Sir William Clopton's Tomb, Holy Trinity ChurchRent of 1 Red Rose PaidBreakfast at your hotel or B&B.  Attend 10:30 morning service at Holy Trinity Church where the Clopton Rose Ceremony will take place during the service.  Enjoy lunch (on our own) at local pubs/eateries.  Say a fond farewell to close family, distant cousins, and friends in Long Melford.  

(Despite cancellation of our CFA reunion, the 2020 Clopton Rose Ceremony - which dates back to 1436 - did take place following personal distancing guidelines.  We are grateful to all ceremony participants for ensuring this event important to our heritage did not fail:  Reverend Matthew Lawson, Rector of Holy Trinity Church; Holy Trinity Church Wardens Ian McDonald and Graham Wegg; Richard Michette who represented the Friends of Holy Trinity Church; Councillor John Nunn of the Long Melford Parish Council andwho accepted the one red rose rent on behalf of the Clopton family; Councillor Helen Allan, Town Mayor of Hadleigh; and Councillor Carolyn Cammack, Deputy Town Mayor of Hadleigh.  A video of the ceremony was posted on the Holy Trinity Church facebook page.)

If you are returning to the US, depart after lunch from the Bull Hotel by chartered bus to London's Heathrow Airport.  Since flights to the US leave very early in the morning, the coach will not arrive at the airport in time for you to fly to the US on Sunday.  Therefore, you should make a reservation at an airport hotel for Sunday night, 5 July (please make your hotel reservation prior to leaving the US), and a return flight reservation to the US for Monday morning, 6 July.  Some hotels have shuttles that will pick you up and return you to the airport.  If joining the second week tour to Winchester, Hampshire, England, depart after lunch by chartered bus to The Holiday Inn in Winchester, our home for the week, where we will have breakfast and dinner included each day.  Also, laundry and dry cleaning facilities at The Holiday Inn in Winchester are available for those who prefer to pack lighter.

Related Websites 

The Bull Hotel in Long Melford:

Cambridge — Cambridge University, Fitzwilliam Museum, King's College Chapel, Punting along the Cam River, Shopping in Cambridge, and Cambridge American Cemetery:

Long Melford — Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford Heritage Centre, Scrutchers Restaurant and other pubs & eateries, Kentwell Hall, and Melford Hall:

Groton — St. Bartholomew's Church, Castling's Hall:

Hadleigh — Rose Ceremony:

Lavenham — Swan Hotel, Guild Hall, The DeVere House (exterior of Harry Potter's childhood home):

Clare Priory — Parish Church, Clare Castle Country Park, Clare Museum:

Poslingford — Chipley Priory:

2020 Post-Reunion Tour - Winchester, England

The following event was also cancelled due to travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 viral outbreak.  Information is only for historic purposes.

 From noon on Sunday, 5 July - Saturday, 11 July 2020, the Friends of Long Melford Building Trust will be our tour guides for a week-long, post-reunion tour of other sites in England.  There is room for only 40 persons; please book early.

Clopton Post Reunion Tour - Winchester & surrounding sites in England

Based at The Holiday Inn - Winchester

There are both laundry and dry cleaning facilities at the Holiday Inn - Winchester.

Sunday, July 5 - Saturday, July 11, 2020 (Limit of 40 people)

Priced per single or double occupancy

(includes hotel in Winchester, coach and ferry travel, admissions, and daily full English breakfast and dinner)

Monday, July 6 - Lord Montagu's stately home at Beaulieu

Beaulieu Palace HouseBeaulieu Palace HouseOriginally built in the 13th Century, Beaulieu House was extended in the 16th and 19th Centuries and is today a fine example of a Gothic country house with the inside in a Victorian style.  It is still home to the current Lord and Lady Montagu.  Also on the grounds is the world-renowned National Motor Museum which houses around 250 vehicles manufactured since the late 19th Century.  Nearby at Buckler’s Hard learn how warships were built for Lord Nelson’s Navy and see models of the ships which took part in the Battle of Trafalgar.

Tuesday, July 7 - Portsmouth Docks and Spinnaker Tower

Portsmouth & Spinnaker TowerPortsmouth's Spinnaker TowerWhen Britannia ruled the waves, it did so from Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, still the base of the Royal Navy.  The grand and historic warship, the HMS Victory, changed the course of world history when Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson pursued Napoleon’s fleets and conquered them at Cape Trafalgar.  The museum building holds the much older Mary Rose, a 16th Century warship which was King Henry VIII’s favorite.  Near the Spinnaker Tower, which has become an icon of the city, the successful makeover of Portsmouth added an outdoor shopping center.

Wednesday, July 8 - Winchester

Today Winchester Cathedralwe stay in Winchester to visit  Winchester Cathedral where many of England’s kings and queens are buried and which was Hogwarts in Harry Potter!  It is one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Europe with over 1,000 years of history.  Among the many famous who are buried there is Jane Austen.  Next we travel to the Hospital of St. Cross, founded between 1132 and 1136, creating what is said to be England’s oldest charitable institution.

Thursday, July 9 - Watercress Line and homes of Austen and WhiteJane Austen's HouseHome of Jane Austen

We start the day on the Watercress Line to experience the Golden Age of Steam Travel.  Then on to the humble home of the author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.  It was in this country cottage that Jane's genius flourished and where she wrote all her novels.  Austen’s house will be followed by a visit to the home of Gilbert White:  a priest, naturalist and ornithologist; his home is a treasure.  The rooms have been restored, following descriptions in White’s own correspondence and include items of contemporary furniture, family portraits, and bed hangings embroidered for him by his aunts.

Friday, July 10 - Osborne House via ferry ride to The Isle of Wight  

Osborne House, Isle of WightOsborne HouseOsborne House is a stunning  Italianate palazzo that was Queen Victoria’s beloved getaway on the Isle of Wight for 50 years, until her death in 1901.  Today Osborne House has been lovingly restored.  Visitors will have an intimate glimpse into the nursery and private rooms of the Queen and her beloved Prince Albert, who lived there with their nine children.

Saturday, July 11 - Return to Heathrow Airport

We will be taken by coach to the Heathrow airport for return to the US or to continue your privately arranged travel plans.  Since flights to the US leave very early in the morning, the coach will not arrive at the airport in time for you to fly to the US on Saturday.  Therefore, you can make a reservation at an airport hotel for Saturday night, 11 July (please make your hotel reservation prior to leaving the US), and a return flight reservation to the US for Sunday morning, 12 July.

A message from the Long Melford Planning Committee: 

“We very much hope that you enjoy the Reunion and Tour and look forward to the next Long Melford Reunion of the CFA in  2026.” 

Related Websites  

The Holiday Inn Winchester:

Beaulieu Palace & Motor Museum, Buckler's Hard:

Portsmouth — Mary Rose, Victory Romsey Tower & Spinnaker Tower:

Winchester — Cathedral, Hospital of Saint Cross: (30 min drive from Winchester, but not on this reunion tour)

Jane Austen House, Gilbert White and a trip on the Watercress Line:

Isle of Wight — Osborne House:

For more information, please contact:  

  1. CFA Secretary/Treasurer Pat Clopton-Wheeler at 325-773-2714 or 
  2. CFA Vice-President Judy Timmons at 803-782-6880 or