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Oxburgh Hall becomes first National Trust site in region to reopen its doors

PUBLISHED: 10:26 13 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:36 13 July 2020

Oxburgh Hall, which is reopening for inside visitors as the lockdown eases. Picture: David Harper

Oxburgh Hall, which is reopening for inside visitors as the lockdown eases. Picture: David Harper

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Oxburgh Hall has become the first National Trust historic house in the region to open to inside visitors - and it features a particularly timely exhibition.

An aerial image of Oxburgh Hall, taken by John Fielding from his microlight aircraft. Picture: John FieldingAn aerial image of Oxburgh Hall, taken by John Fielding from his microlight aircraft. Picture: John Fielding

The moated house near Swaffham has opened for the first time after 16 weeks of closure during the lockdown.

Russell Clement, Oxburgh’s general manager, said the team at the hall was “very excited” to be one of the first seven NT historic homes in England top reopen.

Mr Clement said: “Welcoming visitors back to Oxburgh is something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time now.

“We’ve had a major roof restoration project ongoing at Oxburgh and as part of that the house has been closed since November.

Visitors in the garden in May at Blickling Estate, Norfolk. Picture John Millar/National Trust *** Local Caption *** Blickling EstateVisitors in the garden in May at Blickling Estate, Norfolk. Picture John Millar/National Trust *** Local Caption *** Blickling Estate

“People who do go into the house will see parts of our exhibition called Endurance, which tells the stories of the people who have lived here and how they coped during periods of difficulty and struggle when their house became their sanctuary, so that might resonate even more with people now than before and we would love to hear the reflections and thoughts of our visitors about that.”

MORE: Strong demand for parking spots expected as National Trust sites reopen

Oxburgh Hall started a major re-roofing project in November, so not all of the rooms will be open, but visitors will still be able to see parts of an exhibition created to mark the project.

Mr Clement added: “We opened the house again in March, but just a week later lockdown came into force, so being part of this pilot reopening feels particularly special and the whole team are genuinely very excited to be welcoming people back in this way.”

A one-way system and other safety measures have been put in place at the hall, in what is part of a phased reopening of NT historic homes over the next few weeks.

Horsey windpump. Picture: The National Trust Photographic LibraryHorsey windpump. Picture: The National Trust Photographic Library

The Trust began opening its gardens, parkland and cafes for takeaways from June 3, and advanced booking is still required at most of them, including Blickling Hall, Felbrigg Hall and Sheringham Park.

Bookings are not required for the car park at Horsey Windpump, but the windpump, tea room and shop remain closed.

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