During this century, the town's wealthiest families, the Searles, the Tenneys, and the Nevins, brought both economic and cultural growth by building numerous mills, churches, schools, and museums in the area.
The park was laid out by Capability Brown and Humphrey Repton.
The family can be traced back to the mid sixteenth century.
The house is Elizabethan, dating from 1582, and contains a famous collection of paintings and eighteenth century furniture.
Various improvements have been carried out to the building in recent years including major roof repairs, refurbished ground floor, fire safety works and disability access improvements.
Charles Mayo lived in Ivy House at the corner of Priory Street and The High Street from 1868 to his death in 1895.