Thursday, 21 September 2017

Off to Oxburgh day 6 part one

Back to our Norfolk holiday.

Day 6 and with the weather still good we set off on our longest trip of the holiday, the hour long drive south west through Swaffham (always makes me laugh, think it's thanks to Harry Hill) to Oxburgh Hall, a rather romantic looking medieval moated property originally built in the 15th century, and now managed by the National Trust.

 As we arrived around 10.30, we cracked open the flask and had tea and cake in the rather pleasant car park before going in

 I have to say that for WOW factor, this is the most gorgeous property I have seen. I love a moat and this one was teeming with fish, and you could see the bottom, which is good as I have a thing about deep water. Rather disconcerting though was the half a pike resting in some pond weed at the bottom of the moat, I was wondering what bit it in half!

 We spent a good hour just walking around the outside, the weather was gorgeous and the property was just breathtaking. Also, a junior school were visiting and they were inside, so we let them out before attempting to go in!

You can see some scaffolding in the above photo, the roof on the courtyard part of the property is being repaired

 The property looks like an architect's advert in places, there does appear to be every style of window as you go round the outside

Fishies!  The moat is huge, around 250 feet long on each side

Love the name on their moat boat

After wandering aimlessly around the outside, we ventured in. I suppose I was expecting great things, but as you enter it is explained that family had to club together to buy the property back from an insurance company in the 50's and so several descendant families now live in private apartments there.

I took a few snaps inside, but they were dark and uninteresting. Better photos exist on the National Trust site here

The property was first built in 1482 by Sir Edmund Bedingfeld, after he obtained a licence to crenellate.  The same family still live there, apart from a short period earlier in the 20th century when the land and property was split up and came under the ownership of an insurance company. To save it from being pulled down by a local builder the family clubbed together, selling whatever they had to save the building.

Bad photo of leather wallpaper, yes, seriously, leather!

The property is known for a few things, one of which is stunning needlework by Bess of Hardwick and her charge, Mary Queens of Scots, whom she had under house arrest for Elizabeth I.

As we've been to Fotheringhay, where Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded, it was interesting to see the huge panels of stunning needlework she and her captor had worked on together.

Mary wasn't held here, but I believe the works arrived at Oxburgh as part of a dowry a few centuries back

They are huge, around six feet high

The room they are kept in is dark and only lights up when you enter, to keep them from deteriorating, hard to believe they are over 400 years old 

My only photo of the King's room, there is a famous priest hole off this bedroom, and the more adventurous visitor is allowed to slip through a hole in the floor into the secret chamber. We both decided we were not going in!

I made my way up several flights of stairs to the Queen's room above, via this very narrow staircase, with the rather cleverly built in handrail, only to find it shut! 

Back outside, and we wandered around the walled garden, a later addition to the property, and mostly allowed to grow to meadow proportions to support wildlife, this outside area was kept much smarter

A few last glimpses of the impressive brickwork and all those beautiful windows

The stunning entrance over the bridge, with the window for the King's room immediately over the archway

Not sure if these gorgeous little lamps are original or repro, so much of the original property was sold to save it

A decidedly glum looking blogger! Not sure why I don't look too happy here, possibly because OH has already taken one photo. Anyway, 50p top and Laura Ashley linen skirt which was £1.

As we left for our holiday chalet, we decided to pop in to an abbey we had seen signposted along the way.  It turned out to be a lot bigger than we thought so part two of our day 6 is to follow!  


  1. What a beautiful property Oxburgh Hall is. It's indeed looking rather romantic surrounded by its moat. I do love a moated property! And it's got quite a bit of history as well. The needlework is wonderful, and rather poignant thinking that Mary Queen of Scots worked on them. Thank you for the tour, Claire! And a Laura Ashley skirt for £ 1, what a find! xxx

  2. Oxburgh Hall is very imposing. That wallpaper is incredible. xxx

  3. It's just chocolate-box picturesque isn't it! I love those reflections in the moat and those towers! Ha,the boat is a super name!x

  4. Oxburgh Hall is certainly most impressive, as is that leather wallpaper. The needlepoint is wonderful and so much history.

  5. I'm imagining all things about that pike. Truly an impressive estate.


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