A brief history of Oxburgh Hall

Two visitors standing outside Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

Despite being built during the Wars of the Roses, Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk was never intended to be a castle but a family home. Completed in 1482 for Sir Edmund Bedingfeld, the family has lived here ever since and continues to call it home today.

The fact that the house still stands is an achievement in itself. It has survived a dreadful fire during the Civil War, periods of near dereliction and a threat of demolition.

The family’s unshakable Catholic faith and desire to preserve the memory of their ancient past are a potent combination. Both are expressed throughout this remarkable place in its architecture, collections and landscape and in its abundance of heraldic motifs. Add to these elements the family’s strong royal connections, and a powerful story unfolds. 

Timeline

1274

The story begins with the De Weyland family

Prior to Oxburgh Hall's construction, the De Weyland family are recorded as Oxburgh's owners in 1274. Fast forward to 1434 and we see Thomas De Weyland, a deeply disliked man, stripped of his land after his swindling ways are discovered. He only manages to hold onto Oxburgh by putting the estate into his wife's name. It's from here we see Oxburgh's land pass to the Tuddenham family.

1482

Oxburgh Hall is built

Sir Edmund Bedingfeld inherits Oxburgh from his grandmother, Margaret Tuddenham and moves his family seat from Bedingfeld to Oxborough, where he builds his grand new house. A licence to crenellate - a form of royal planning permission if you like - is granted by Edward IV in 1482. His choice of brick was a bold statement at the time, as this building material was usually reserved for the most important buildings in the country, and not often used by anyone except the king.

Oxburgh Hall south view historic parkland south

1483

A supporter of the House of York

Sir Edmund Bedingfeld was knighted at the coronation of Richard III. A great supporter of the House of York during the War of the Roses, the Yorkists's falcon and fetterlock badge can be seen throughout the house.

The Yorkist falcon and fetterlock badge, used extensively at Oxburgh.