The heart of the estate was built before the Norman conquest and enlarged by the Felbrigg family. The name 'Felbrigg' is a relic of the Danish invasions - 'Fiolbrygga' is ancient Scandinavian for a plank bridge. When the Normans made their Domesday survey in 1086 the village was amongst the many possessions of the Bigod family.
A brief history of Felbrigg Hall
The hall at Felbrigg you see today was built in stages, beginning in Tudor times, and completed centuries later. Before its bequest to the National Trust in 1969, the estate was owned by three main families who transformed Felbrigg into the place you see today.
Find out about the people of Felbrigg in these pages from our Brochure:
Take a journey through centuries of history at Felbrigg using our timeline.
The Early Years
The Felbrigg name
The earliest record of a family called Felbrigg dates to the late 11th century, when Ailward de Felbrigg and his kinsmen were joined by marriage to the Bigods. A monumental brass in Felbrigg church commemorates this family, and unusually depicts two lords of the manor with their wives. The first is Sir Simon de Felbrigg, thought to have died in 1351, shown with his wife Alice de Thorp. Next to them, in armour, is their son Roger and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Scales.
Felbrigg to be sold
The estate was retained by the de Felbrigg family until the Lancastrian coup of 1399. This spelt disaster for Sir Simon de Felbrigg who was deprived of lucrative keeperships and offices by the new king Henry IV. When Sir Simon died in December 1442 he was buried with his second wife in the choir of the Norwich Blackfriar's church. His will instructed that Felbrigg be sold.