Oxburgh Hall – National Trust

Home to the Bedingfeld family for 500 years, Oxburgh is now owned by the National Trust. The unique look of the manor house reveals one family’s unshakable Catholic faith and holds the story of endurance. 

The moated manor house is filled with portraits, treasured objects and fascinating documents on loan from the current Baronet, Sir Henry Bedingfeld’s private collection.

The books in the library stood out the most; there was a bible on display with Sir Bedingfeld’s children’s names all written in the front as a sign of the catholic religion in the 15th century.

Despite its fortified appearance, the moated Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk was intentionally built as a family home. It was completed in 1482 for Sir Edmund Bedingfeld and the Bedingfelds have lived here ever since, surviving Civil War, periods of near dereliction, then in the 20th century, they faced the threat of demolition.

The Bedingfelds’ Catholic faith and commitment to preserving their history are a potent combination, expressed throughout the hall’s architecture, collections and landscape. Being Catholic nobiles the family would have had a priest either resident or visiting to celebrate Mass.

However, in the post-Reformation era, it was illegal to practise Catholicism, but this did not stop the Bedingfields from following their faith, as they built a priest’s hole, where a priest could hide if the Hall was raided by the authorities. 

The survival of Oxburgh was never guaranteed; overdue rents, mounting taxes and rising maintenance costs forced the Bedingfelds to sell in 1951. It was saved from demolition at the final hour by Lady Sybil Bedingfeld and two other relatives and given to the National Trust in 1952. 

Currently, Oxburgh is going through a restoration project, it is the National Trusts most ambitious conservation project to date, the work will take until 2021 to complete.

It is a £6million project, which will see repairs carried out to the roof, windows, chimneys and medieval gatehouse façade, securing Oxburgh’s future and the collection within.

The invasive nature of the current roof repairs has led to the mammoth task of moving thousands of items in the collection out of attic spaces and, in some cases, the first-floor areas of the house.

At Oxburgh there is a walled garden and woodland to walk around while you’re visiting. The Walled Garden is where you’ll find the orchard and kitchen garden.

You’ll see a lot of gardens like this at National Trust homes, this is because during the many centuries the house would have to grown it’s own fruit and vegetables. At Oxburgh Hall, there are a few greenhouses and many planting areas where they are still growing many plants and vegetables.

We had an excellent visit at Oxburgh Hall, the National Trust staff on the gate were superb and friendly. When we visited there was a one way system round the woodland walk and by the river, including good social distancing measures in place, both on entry, around the grounds and whilst viewing the rooms available to visit within the hall.

I would never normally have written this but I feel like people would be put off if there was no system in place.

We hope to go back once the building work is complete and see Oxburgh Hall without all the building works and scaffolding. Would recommend this National Trust property to anyone who is visiting the area of Norfolk, I have no doubt that you’ll enjoy it. 

17 thoughts on “Oxburgh Hall – National Trust

Add yours

  1. It looks like a super interesting place. Whenever I see such old buildings I always wonder if there aren’t ghosts hanging around.

    All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thank you for the background on Oxburgh. I was supposed to visit the UK in June and this would have come in very handy. Perhaps this will become handy next June when I plan to finally visit!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. So picturesque! The gardens look like a lovely place for a stroll. I’m curious to see how it will look after all the renovations are completed! Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The history is so interesting – I love learning about a building from that angle. It sounds like they are undertaking quite the restoration project. I would love to see pictures of everything when the work is completed! I’m glad to hear that they are investing in keeping this piece of the past alive!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: