This is the 5th post of our mini series during our visit to Norfolk in early August. Today is little T’s first day back in school. I can’t believe the holidays are over, it’s certainly the shortest she’s ever had. Let me take you back a few weeks earlier, when the sun was bright and the days were warm and long …
The next day, we had two destinations in mind. The first was a visit to Oxburgh Hall (you’ll hear about the second one in the next post), a late medieval country home in Oxborough. It was built during the War of the Roses, not as a castle really, but more as a family home for Sir Edmund Bedingfield. This magnificent house is a must-visit for all, you don’t even have to be a lover of history to appreciate this grand country home. You’ll be amazed to see how well-preserved, not just the house, but as well as what you can see inside the house.
Can you imagine this as your family home?
And yes, it has a beautiful moat surrounding this grand country home.
This moat is home to a family of pike and dragonflies. Little T and my husband crouched down to try to see as many pikes and dragonflies as they can before entering the house, although I’ve only managed to take a couple of photos, there were actually loads of them!
Front of the house is certainly one grand entrance. I can’t believe that this was actually a family home and not a castle. It has the opulence of one! Don’t you agree?
Little T trying to take a photo of the sundial (photo above). As you can see, at the time we visited, the place was going through some minor renovations.
Inside one of the many grand rooms in the house.
Everything about the house was grand, even this old chess-set. If these pieces could speak, what would they say? Do you think they’ll tell us stories about who played with them, what the conversations were said during the game? Any secrets?
One of the most interesting facts about Oxburgh hall is that the Bedingfields were Catholics during the time Elizabeth I first became Queen in 1558. She was a staunch Protestant who was determined to continue with her father’s reformation of the Church of England and because of their faith, the Bedingfield family was ostracised and also suffered sanctions. It was also around this time when they decided to have a priest hole built beneath a bricked-top door in the garderobe (a storeroom for valuables).
As you can see, it is a tiny space,my husband could barely fit in it as he tried to slide into the priest’s hole.
And this is how small it was inside that little hole. Can you imagine being stuck in here for days with no window and fresh air?
We were only in that hole for a few minutes since there was a long queue to get in. I was certainly glad to be out in the open once again, definitely not one for the claustrophobic!
Visiting places like these, teeming with history and magnificence, makes me and my husband happy to be members of both the National Trust and English Heritage. It’s nice to know that our membership fees helps in restoring and taking care of all these important historical places. If not for them, I honestly doubt these places would be well taken care of, or may not even be standing here today. I’ve mentioned this in past posts, being members is so worth it, especially when you have kids – you’ll always find something to do especially when the weather cooperates.
What’s your favourite historical place to visit?
Click here if you’re interested in visiting and want to know exactly how to get there.