The Last Squire

Felbrigg Hall in springtime

Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, commonly known as the Last Squire, inherited Felbrigg from his father. He devoted his life to preserving Felbrigg, finally bequeathing it to the National Trust in 1969.

Robert Windham Ketton Cremer

Shortly after his father inherited Felbrigg in 1924, Robert went up to Balliol where he suffered an attack of the rheumatic fever which had plagued him at Harrow.  He was left with a weak heart and limited use of his right hand, and in later life was rendered susceptible to a series of increasingly serious illnesses.

As his predecessors had done, he played a full part in the life of his county.  As High Sheriff of Norfolk (1951-2) he was required to witness two hangings, and as a JP he administered justice.  He was actively involved in the founding the the University of East Anglia which conferred an honorary D.Litt on him in 1969 and to which he bequeathed his working library of books on Norfolk history, but he did not relish public prominence.

Robert did not marry and the central tragedy of his life was the loss of his younger brother in 1941.  The Victory V plantation behind the house was planted at the end of the war both to celebrate the allied victory and to commemorate his brother Richard. 

The future

When asked what would become of Felbrigg on his death he would often say that it "was to be left to a cat's home". In fact he had been involved in the work of the National Trust since the late 1940s when he had helped Alec Penrose, the Honorary Regional Representative, with decisions about the decoration of the Orangery at Blickling.  He had approached the National Trust in 1941 at which time the Executive Committee had accepted the property, and on his death in December 1969 Felbrigg with all its contents, woods, parkland and farms passed to us.