Visit the hall at Oxburgh
Oxburgh Estate has been the family home of the Bedingfelds for more than 500 years and they still live within private apartments at Oxburgh today.
Access to the Gatehouse
This part of Oxburgh Hall can only be seen as part of the Immersive Gatehouse Experience tour which is limited to 12 persons per tour. We can't guarantee this tour will be running on the day of your visit, as these are subject to volunteer availability. This tour is available on a first come, first serve basis, bookable on arrival with the Welcome Team.
Oxburgh Estate has been the family home of the Bedingfelds for more than 500 years, and they still live in private apartments at Oxburgh today.
The Hall has undergone numerous changes in its 500-year history, often due to the hardships endured by the Bedingfelds as Catholics, but also due to changes in fashion and ways of living. In the early 19th century, the 6th Baronet began work to decorate and furnish the Hall in the antiquarian style you see today. He and his wife, Margaret, re-purposed panelling, embossed leather, heavy oak furniture, and ancient textiles. Neo-Gothic wallpapers and fabrics with a recurring theme of heraldic motifs 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 when the hall was sold in 1951, the hall today still reflects the tastes of the Bedingfeld family and contains several items on loan from the family and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Spaces to explore
Built in the 1860s, the South Corridor is the main entrance to the hall, where you will be met by one of our friendly Welcome Hosts. On display are some of the many underfloor discoveries we made during the Raise the Roof project. A recent addition to the space is a beautiful oil portrait of Alice Hammet, mother of one of the three women who helped to save Oxburgh from sale and potential demolition.
The Saloon was built for the 4th Baronet as a picture gallery and grand reception room. As you look around the walls, you’ll find portraits of Protestant monarchs, which is unusual for such a Catholic household.
Here you can pick up the story of the three incredible women who, in 1951, helped save Oxburgh from sale and possible demolition, as well as admire some of the collection items that have recently returned to Oxburgh, having been sold in 1951.
Here we reveal a 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. It returns to Oxburgh after more than 100 years, on loan from the Drambuie Collection with kind permission of William Grant and Sons.
Here we explore the Bedingfeld family’s Royalist loyalties during the Civil War through the medium of the fascinating Votive painting. Look out for the rare leather hangings adorning the walls. Though these date to the first half of the 1700s, they were installed at Oxburgh a hundred years later, to evoke the sense of nostalgia so highly valued by the 19th-century Bedingfelds.
Oxburgh’s interiors, textiles and furniture are rare survivors, 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 since the 1830s, its mixture of ancient woodcarvings and Gothic-style furniture is typical of a ‘Romantic interior’.
In this room, you can follow the story of how the Bedingfeld family fortunes were closely linked to figures like Elizabeth I and Mary I. Look out for the remarkable earliest document announcing Mary I as Queen, as well as personal correspondence from Queen Elizabeth I to Sir Henry Bedingfeld seeking assistance.
Discover a different pattern of the leather hangings on these walls. Embossed, painted and gilded, it is unusual to find this type of leather in such quantities. See if you can spot the well-concealed entrance to the 19th-century scullery and explore the portraits of Bedingfeld ancestors and other notable characters overlooking the 17th-century staircase.
North Corridor (1st floor)
Another space adorned by elaborate leather wall-hangings! Where the leather panels don’t quite meet up, a 19th-century member of the Bedingfeld family has painted in the gaps. Look out for a portrait of a Carmelite nun set into a door – this is believed to be Margaret Bedingfeld (daughter of the 1st Baronet), who took her vows in 1673 and went on to become a prioress at the convent in Lierre in modern-day Belgium.
North Bedroom (1st floor)
Until 1985, the North Bedroom, with its largely 19th-century furnishings, was occupied by Mrs Frances Greathead, one of the three women who helped to save Oxburgh Estate for the nation. Here you can learn more about some of the fascinating women in Oxburgh’s long history. As well as see the Paston portraits, which have recently returned to Oxburgh and are looking wonderful, having undergone conservation work by the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio.
The Oxburgh Hangings (1st floor)
The Oxburgh Hangings, on loan to the National Trust by the Victoria & Albert Museum, comprise of multiple embroidered panels set against a background of green velvet, forming three large hangings. They were created by Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick between 1569 and 1584, when Mary was in captivity on the orders of Elizabeth I. They came to Oxburgh through a marriage in 1761. Here you can admire the animal and floral designs of these rare and exquisite panels and explore the symbolism lurking beneath apparently innocent images.
Boudoir (1st floor)
Remodelled in the mid-1800s, the Boudoir formed part of a suite with the adjacent North Bedroom. The Boudoir has perhaps one of the most decorative ceilings at Oxburgh, with its ornate plasterwork featuring portcullis and Tudor rose motifs. We currently use this room to talk about how we look after the collection at Oxburgh, showcasing some of the tools and materials we use in our work.
Gatehouse via Immersive Gatehouse Experience tour (2nd Floor)
The prominent Gatehouse is a masterpiece of medieval brickwork and hosts the King’s Room & Priest Hole. Although this room was named after King Henry VII, he never actually slept here during 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.
This part of Oxburgh Hall can only be seen as part of the Immersive Gatehouse Experience tour which is limited to 12 persons per tour. We can't guarantee this tour will be running on the day of your visit, as these are subject to volunteer availability. This tour is available on a first come, first serve basis, bookable on arrival with the Welcome Team. However, it's our hope we'll be able to offer more of these in the future.
Please visit the ‘Things to see and do’ page for further information.
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 been reserved for the most important buildings at the time and so its use at Oxburgh symbolises the family’s power and wealth.
The Priest Hole can only be seen when on the Gatehouse Experience Tour.
Oxburgh Estate was built as a family home, and the Bedingfelds have now lived here since 1482, surviving Civil War, periods of near dereliction, and the threat of demolition.
From early Tudor portraits and rare manuscripts to colourful 19th-century wallpapers, Oxburgh's contents reveal the collecting habits of the Bedingfeld family.
Find out more about the £6 million project at Oxburgh Estate, which included repairs to the roof, windows, chimneys and medieval gatehouse façade, securing Oxburgh’s future and the collection within.
Wander around the parterre, discover what’s in season in the walled garden and explore the less formal areas, including the Wilderness and My Lady’s Wood on your visit to Oxburgh.
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