|Oxburgh Hall Norfolk|
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Everyone remembers their first sight of Oxburgh - a romantic, moated manor house near Kings Lynn in Norfolk. Built by the Bedingfeld family in the 15th century, who have lived there ever since.
Inside, the family's Catholic history is revealed, complete with a secret priest's hole which you can crawl inside. On first sight, Oxburgh Hall looks to be an imposing castle, reflected in its impressive Tudor gatehouse and surrounding moat. Despite being built during the Wars of the Roses, Oxburgh was never intended to be a castle but a family home. It was completed in 1482 for Sir Edmund, and the family have lived at Oxburgh ever since.
The original outline of the house remains although there have been some alterations and restoration over the centuries.The Great Tower is completely unchanged and rises impressively to 80 feet above the moat. On the first floor of the tower is the King's Chamber where Henry VII stayed on a visit to Oxburgh in 1487. This room displays panels of needlework embroidered by Mary, Queen of Scots during her captivity. These were brought to the house in 1793 by the daughter of Viscount Montague of Cowdray, who married a Bedingfeld.
There is also work by Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury. The house includes superb 17th century wall-coverings of embossed and painted Spanish leather on the stairs and corridor. Portraits of the Bedingfeld family are found throughout the house. There is a private Roman Catholic chapel, built with reclaimed materials from demolished estate cottages. Outside, you can enjoy panoramic views from the gatehouse roof and follow the woodcarving trails in the gardens and woodlands. The late winter drifts of snowdrops are not to be missed.
The Oxburgh Hall garden surrounds the moated Tudor manor house . Lawns fringed with fine trees, a Victorian parterre planted by Sir Henry Paston-Bedingfeld in the mid 19th century, lined with box and permanent plantings of Cineraria `Silver Dust´ and Ruta graveolens `Jackman´s Blue´. The dazzling summer bedding for the parterre included ageratums and French marigolds. The Victorian kitchen garden is now planted as a formal orchard with plums, medlars, quinces and gages as well as apples, while roses, clematis and other climbers grow on the walls. A long herbaceous border shelters behind yew hedging and a herb and vegetable garden provides produce for the restaurant.