Rewiring project at Oxburgh Hall, 11 February 2013

The cords for the original servants' bells © Ilana Van Dort

The cords for the original servants' bells

We were visited by a National Trust archaeologist, Angus Wainwright, this week, who came to inspect the void we had discovered beneath the South Corridor floorboards.

The void itself proved to be of little interest. Rather than the medieval well or fire-pit we had hoped for, it was a rather more prosaic nineteenth century drain! To put the discovery of the void into context, the South Corridor is a nineteenth century construction that was built to reconnect two wings of Oxburgh Hall. The Hall had been a U-shape for a century, since the medieval Great Hall that had previously connected the two wings was torn down in the late eighteenth century.

We were hoping that the discovery of the void would somehow relate to the medieval Great Hall and we were not entirely disappointed. In creating the drain, the nineteenth century workmen had exposed a section of brick wall that had once formed part of the Great Hall, as can be seen in the photograph. We have little existing information about the Great Hall, so discoveries such as these are always exciting!

In other rewiring news, the electricians have almost finished their work and the overall project contractors, Draper Nichols, are busy ‘making good’ in areas where work has been undertaken. This includes touching up paintwork, relaying floorboards, and tying up lots of loose ends!

Next week, the House team begin reinstating the downstairs showrooms, i.e. the South Corridor, Saloon, Drawing Room, Library and Dining Room, in preparation for opening the House to visitors in March. It will be great to see the rooms back to normal!