Centuries of resilience at historic Norfolk hall

A view across the moat to Oxburgh Hall. Date: June 18, 1994.

A view across the moat to Oxburgh Hall. Date: June 18, 1994. - Credit: Archant Library

In the village of Oxborough, seven miles southwest of Swaffham, lies Oxburgh Hall. 

This stunning country house - with its striking fortified gatehouse, landscaped park, winding woodland walks and picturesque moat - has survived near dereliction, religious persecution, civil war and threatened demolition.  

Oxburgh Hall with its gardens and moats has plenty to offer even the youngest visitors. Date: July 2

Oxburgh Hall with its gardens and moats has plenty to offer even the youngest visitors. Date: July 2, 1994. Accessed via localrecall.co.uk. - Credit: Archant Library

Despite its moat and imposing fortifications, Oxburgh Hall was originally built as a family home. 

The building was completed in 1482 for Sir Edmund Bedingfield and the family has resided there ever since. 

Oxburgh Hall, at Oxborough owned by The National Trust. Built in 1482 by the Bedingfield family who

Oxburgh Hall, at Oxborough owned by The National Trust. Built in 1482 by the Bedingfield family who still live in one wing. The picture shows Henry Bedingfield rowing across the moat. Date: April 6, 1999 - Credit: Archant Library

Oxburgh Hall has a rich history and strong royal connections. On August 28, 1498, King Henry VII, his Queen Elizabeth of York and Lady Margaret Beaufort, the king’s mother, visited Oxburgh Hall. 

Oxburgh Hall and moat. Date: April 23, 1964.

Oxburgh Hall and moat. Date: April 23, 1964. - Credit: Archant Library


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Half a century later in 1549, Sir Henry Bedingfeld (1511-83) helped to suppress the rebellion led by Norfolk farmer Robert Kett against the enclosure of common land. Rebels captured Sir Henry, imprisoned him and came close to murdering him. 

Fast forward to 1951 and the hall and gardens faced demolition after being sold – but the estate was offered back to the Bedingfield family for £5,000. A year later, they gave the property to the National trust.

Oxburgh Hall gatehouse. Date: 1950.

Oxburgh Hall gatehouse. Date: 1950. - Credit: Archant Library

Part of the stained glass window from the chapel of Oxburgh Hall, incorporating the Bedingfield hera

Part of the stained glass window from the chapel of Oxburgh Hall, incorporating the Bedingfield heraldry, which is being renovated by the Norwich firm of G. King & Son, lead glaziers. Date: December 1963. - Credit: Archant Library

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Oxburgh Hall is an historic landmark many of us will have visited, whether on family outings and school trips or to attend special or seasonal events.

Oxburgh Hall in the late summer sun. Date: August 1, 1995.

Oxburgh Hall in the late summer sun. Date: August 1, 1995. - Credit: Archant Library

Oxburgh Hall, at Oxborough, owned by The National Trust. Built in 1482 by the Bedingfield family who

Oxburgh Hall, at Oxborough, owned by The National Trust. Built in 1482 by the Bedingfield family who still live in one wing. Date: September 1992. - Credit: Archant Library

Old photos like these and many more from across Norfolk are available in our new vintage photography website The Story Of.

Explore photos by place and time, create collections, share your own pictures and help preserve the tales these places tell by creating an account at thestoryof.uk.

Tending to the flowerbeds at Oxburgh Hall and gardens. Date: August 1996.

Tending to the flowerbeds at Oxburgh Hall and gardens. Date: August 1996. - Credit: Archant Library


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