Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Oxburgh Hall and Parish Church

As promised in my post on Castle Acre I'm taking you back to the end of June and our visit to Norfolk one last time, to Oxburgh Hall.  Once again it was a warm afternoon - goodness where did those warm afternoons go?  I could have done with a few more of them through July and was hoping August might be better but from here it looks worse.  I do like to have a sunny, warm summer to build me up to face autumn and winter but, at the moment, it looks like autumn has arrived early.   

Anyway back to memories of June.


Oxburgh Hall is a wonderful 15th century moated manor house completed in 1482 by the Bedingfeld family.

The manor house is a very photogenic building surrounded as it is by its moat which when we visited was glistening in the sunshine with bright blue damselflies buzzing over the water's surface.

It was very hard to get a photo of that bridge over the moat without anyone walking across it but I managed a very quick shot.

I loved the window above

The inner courtyard, here you will find the cafe, shop and facilities.

In contrast to its medieval exterior the inside of Oxburgh shows how each generation of the Bedingfeld family has changed it.


In a glass panelled, light restricted room are  embroidered wall hangings made by two famous ladies, Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick.  Below are a pair of scissors said to have been used by Mary, Queen of Scots.  It was hard to photograph them and I see I've caught reflections of the room behind and other visitors in the glass.


The King's bedroom

From the 'Tudor' style bedroom you can access the priest's hole - too enclosed a space for me and also the roof where there were wonderful views of the roof tops and chimneys as well as the knot garden.

In 1487 Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth of York visited the Hall and the two bedrooms reflect this visit although are probably not the rooms they actually used whilst there.

I didn't take many photos inside as all the rooms were very crowded.


There are some lovely gardens, woodland walks and also a family chapel (my photos of the interior were rubbish so I can't show you inside) but I was more interested in the Parish Church which stands close to the Hall and is accessible from its grounds.

You will notice the different spelling of Oxborough the church and road signs are spelt in a more modern way than the Hall which is spelt Oxburgh, which I assume is an older way of spelling the name.   I also notice that the name of the owners is spelt in two ways in various places some using Bedingfeld and some Bedingfield.

The church, dedicated to St John is a fascinating building.  Not least because it lost its spire - twice.

The church originally had a stone spire rebuilt in 1877 after it had been struck by lightening.  The replacement lasted until 28th April 1948 when it it collapsed  across the nave destroying that too. Luckily no one was hurt.   An eye witness said that she was standing in her garden across the way and heard 'cracking noises' and then the tower opened and the spire went down into it.  Someone else working in a field nearby saw the spire disappear from view.

The war memorial is dedicated to five of the Oxburgh (sic) men who died in the first World War.  I bought a fascinating booklet in the church containing all the research done on the five men and their families.

They were brothers George and Charles English, brothers Arthur and Harold Mobbs and Richard Manning.

Next to the church and adjoining the chancel is the Bedingfeld Chapel added to the church in 1500 in memory of Sir Edmund Bedingfeld Knight and Marshal of Calais who died in Calais in 1496.  His wife Margaret is also buried here.

It is amazing that these rare terracotta tombs survived the collapse of the spire and tower.

There are also monuments to later Bedingfelds in the chapel.


The present Parish church is now in what was the chancel of the old church.

26 comments:

  1. Wonderful to see, however it is spelt!!! The scissors are unusual aren't they, I am surprised that they are displayed in that way, open, not closed. There must be a reason, but it surprised me! xx

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    1. Yes, it is unusual perhaps whoever put them in the frame thought they looked better open or perhaps the cross shape they make has some significance? I don't know:)

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  2. Oxburgh hall looks a fascinating place to visit, I like the moat and the knot garden. I'm with you about wanting a summer before Autumn starts. I do like Autumn, but I like it more when we've had a summer beforehand. We have had a few good days here and there, our week in the Peak District was the longest spell of good weather we've had. Sigh...

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    1. I think you were in the Peak District when we were in Norfolk and it was much warmer, summery weather. I love autumn too but like to feel I've had a good summer before the chillier weather starts:)

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  3. Hi Rosie, the pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing then!

    Sandra

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them, Sandra:)

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  4. That's been on my list of places to visit for a long time now. It looks an amazing place.

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    1. It is quite wonderful, so much to see there too. I hope you can cross it off your list one day:)

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  5. We'll be in that neck of the woods in September and I'm looking for 'indoor' places to visit (in case this summer continues in its current style!) I think Oxburgh might be on the list now. Thanks.

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    1. Plenty of indoor bits to shelter but I hope the September weather smiles on you, it is an interesting place to visit:)

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  6. Thanks Rosie, I enjoyed this trip to Oxburgh especially your mention of the Oxburgh hangings. It's sent me off on an internet search of these special ancient embroideries, I must try and see them for myself one day. :-)

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    1. I ought to have put a link on the post to the hangings, I hope you get to see them - when we visited it was very crowded and I didn't spend too long in the room but they were very interesting to see:)

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  7. You do get to visit some wonderful historical buildings Rosie. I wish I had someone to do that with! I don't think the church is meant to have a spire do you? I don't think I would chance a third time 'lucky' with it! I like the reflections in the glass featuring the scissors. It all adds to the mysticism of the place! x

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    1. I think the church is better without a spire and certainly safer! I expect what is left of the church is big enough now as congregations are getting smalller. The scissors do look different and intriguing in their frame don't they?:)

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  8. Another moated manor house, you know how I love them.

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    1. I thought you would like Oxburgh, Janet:)

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  9. A beautiful place to visit. I know what you mean about the weather, it really doesn't feel like summer at all. I'm sitting looking out at rain... again.

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    1. We just avoided getting wet through again today - got home from a walk just as the heavens opened!

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  10. What an interesting place it looks, I enjoyed taking a tour here!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the tour, Louise - it is an interesting place to visit:)

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  11. Great tour - smashing photos. This place has been on the 'to visit' list for sometime - looks beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Mike it is a super place to visit:)

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  12. This is a lovely post, Rosie, thank you for taking us with you. It's the sort of place I love to visit. x

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    1. Thank you Mrs T - glad you enjoyed the visit:)

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  13. I visited Oxburgh some years ago, it's an interesting place. I remember the priest's hole -I went into it and was very glad indeed to get out again!

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    1. You are braver than me, I couldn't have gone down. A man who went down described it to us and showed us a photo and the volunteer guide gave him a sticker to wear to say he had been down:)

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