The Hall at Oxburgh

A lady taking a photo of the staircase at Oxburgh Hall

Oxburgh Hall has been the family home of the Bedingfelds for more than 500 years, and they still live within private apartments at Oxburgh today.

This beautiful moated manor house is filled with portraits, treasured objects and fascinating documents on loan from the current Baronet, Sir Henry Bedingfeld's private collection.

The invasive nature of the current roof repairs has led to the mammoth task of moving thousands of items in the collection out of attic spaces and, in some cases, the first-floor areas of the house.

The Gatehouse

The prominent Gatehouse is a masterpiece of medieval brickwork and is the best surviving example of the original Tudor building. Built as a statement, at a time when the family were wealthy and powerful, inside you’ll find two high status rooms whose names commemorate a royal visit.

The King’s Room

Although this room was named after King Henry VII, he never actually slept in this room on his royal visit in 1498. Decorated in the 19th century, the family hung elaborate 16th century Flemish tapestries above mock-Tudor panelling, draped flags with heraldic emblems at the windows and used the Marian hangings as bed curtains – all a ‘romantic’ nod to the King’s Room’s former appearance.

The Queen’s Room

Another room decorated to remember better times, here you can still see traces of  the elaborate painting scheme imitating Tudor brickwork, added in the Victorian period.

Video

Take a tour of the Gatehouse

Our curator, Anna Forrest, takes you on a tour of the Gatehouse and reveals more about the King's Room, the Queen's Room and the secret priest hole. Lynsey Coombs, our House and Collections Manager also reveals more about the work we're doing in this part of the building.

The House

The Hall has undergone numerous changes in its 500 year history, due to the hardship the family faced. However, in the early 19th century, the 6th Baronet began work to decorate and furnish the Hall in the antiquarian style you see today. He re-used panelling, embossed leather, heraldic motifs, heavy oak furniture, ancient textiles and neo-Gothic wallpapers and fabrics were combined to create a ‘romantic’ atmosphere, an approach that his son, the 7th Baronet continued.  

Although Oxburgh’s collection was reduced when times were hard and the house was sold in 1951, the house today still reflects the tastes of the Bedingfeld family and contains a number of items on loan from the family and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

A miniature portrait of Sir Henry Bedingfeld

The Dining Room

In this room, you'll be able to follow the story of how the family fortunes closely linked to figures like Elizabeth I and Mary I. Look out for the remarkable and earliest document announcing Mary I as Queen, to personal correspondence from Queen Elizabeth I to Sir Henry Bedingfeld seeking assistance.

The Library at Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

The Library

Oxburgh’s interiors, textiles and furniture are rare survivals, put together by the family to create a feeling of nostalgia. The library is a window into the past where we explore a home restored. Substantially unaltered, its mixture of ancient woodcarvings and Gothic-style furniture is typical of a ‘romantic interior’.

The secret Jacobite glass at Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

The West Drawing Room

Here we reveal our new discovery, the story of the 3rd Baronet, who we now believe was a secret Jacobite. In this room you'll find the 18th century Jacobite glass with its cryptic symbols, which returns to Oxburgh after more than 100 years, on loan from the Drambuie Collection with kind permission of William Grant and Sons.

The Saloon at Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

The Saloon

The Saloon was built for the 4th Baronet as a picture gallery. As you look around the walls, you’ll find portraits of Protestant monarchs, which is unusual for such a Catholic household. Here we pick up the story of the three incredible women who helped save Oxburgh in 1951 and some of the lost collection that has since returned.

Unusual features

Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk with its moat

A masterpiece of brickwork

Oxburgh was built in red brick, an expensive and fashionable material which reflected the newly-acquired status of Sir Edmund Bedingfeld at royal court. This building material would have only been reserved for the most important buildings at the time and so its use at Oxburgh is a symbol of the family’s power and wealth.

A man dressed as a priest inside the priest hole at Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

Climb down the priest's hole

During the reign of Elizabeth I, life for Catholics became particularly dangerous. It’s likely that this is when the priest hole was built at Oxburgh, concealed beneath a trap door in the garderobe. This tiny space would become a refuge for a Catholic priest in the event of the house being searched.

The Chapel at Oxburgh Hall

The Chapel

The building of Catholic chapels was forbidden until the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1791. Following this the family financed the building of a makeshift Chapel in the village. Then later, the 6th Baronet built a new chapel in the grounds, which is still owned by the family and regularly used for mass. Why not step inside?