A very handsome brick built building surrounded by a wet moat Oxburgh Hall is at the very tail end of real castle building and was built as much for show as defence.
Sir Edmund Bedingfeld obtained a licence to crenellate in 1482, however, the licence forgives him for building without permission, so it is safe to assume that the Hall was all but complete by this point.
The rear three sides of the Hall are purely domestic, although very picturesque. The front of the Hall has at its centre a Gatehouse which is probably the last version of the Keep/Gatehouse built in England.
The Bedingfields were closet Catholics during the turbulent religious period under Mary I and Elizabeth I and Oxburgh Hall has a fine priest hole. Following their practice of picking the wrong side they were then Royalists during the Civil War and some damage was inflicted on the Hall. All this paid off when Charles II came to the Throne and Sir Henry Bedingfield was made a Baronet.
The Hall's rather shaky defences were never really put to the test and despite some later interference with the building (including the demolition of the original hall range in the 1770s) Oxburgh Hall is a very attractive example of late medieval architecture.
The Bedingfields still live at Oxburgh Hall although it is owned by the National Trust and is open during the summer months.
Back to Castles of Norfolk Page
© Text copyright - Raving Loony Productions, Andrew J. Müller and
© Photos and Artwork - Andrew J. Müller and Roy Barton
© Web Design and Layout - Andrew J. Müller