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Historic Oxburgh Hall at Norfolk

Norfolk is a delightful place to visit on the weekend or a city break, as it offers plenty of wonderful places to see and things to do.  Apart from its country side charm there are numerous historic sites, amazing natural beauty and stunning beaches to explore.

Visitors have a fine choice of Norfolk Hotels to choose from that are affordably priced. The accommodation found here caters to all kinds of travellers, from families to backpackers.

A good place that is both family and budget friendly to stay is the Harpers hotel, which is ideally located and close to some of the best attractions in the area. One of the best country homes to explore in Norfolk is magnificent Oxburgh Hall.


Oxburgh Hall and estate was the inheritance of Sir Edmund Bedingfield who took charge of the property in 1476. Kind Edward IV gave him a licence to create a house in the area. It was built using bricks, which were extremely expensive at that time. As Sir Edmund was a staunch Yorkist the heraldic symbols of the Fetterlock and Falcon are found all over the property. Despite his loyalty to York he did show the same devotion to Richard III and refused to join him in battle.  However, he did lend support to Henry VII in the War of the Roses in 1487.

The monarch amply rewarded him with the queen and royal princes visiting the property. Oxburgh estate then had a change of owners with the property passed on to three brothers in rapid succession. It first went to Sir Thomas and after his death came into possession of his brother Robert. After Robert died it became the property of the third brother Sir Edmund in 1541. Sir Edmund supported Henry VIII and was appointed Comptroller and Steward. After he inherited Oxburgh he retired from the Royal Court and stayed on the property till his death in 1553.

Later his son Sir Henry Beding field became owner of the property and like his father was actively involved in the politics of the Royal Court. He supported Lady Mary in the accession row that followed. As the family was staunch Catholics he declined to support the Act of Uniformity that made Protestantism the official faith of England. It was later during this period that the Priest Hole was built secretly within the estate, to hid visiting Catholic priests.  After his death the estate had a number of successors with his great grandson inheriting it as child in 1590. Because of their Catholic beliefs the family was penalised that led to the financial losses. The death of his wife led to Sir Henry frequently travelling abroad in the latter years. After his death it passed into the hands of several descendants. Later during the rule of King Charles II, the family saw a rise in its fortunes.

As with so many noble families in the 1950s, the family found it difficult to maintain the property, with parts of the estate sold. Lady Sybil Bedingfield is to be credited with ensuring Oxburgh Hall was handed over to the National Trust.

This post was written by

Fergus Brandon – who has written posts on All Here.


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