Our Sites: Oxburgh Hall

Oxburgh Hall, built by Sir Edmund Bedingfeld in 1482, is situated in glorious grounds in West Norfolk.

The hall itself has seen many changes throughout the years; repairs were made to the East wing following damage inflicted toward the end of the English Civil War in 1647, in 1710 the old retractable drawbridge was replaced with the permenant stone and flint bridge seen today. The biggest cosmetic change made to the hall was by Sir Richard, 4th Baronet in 1775 when he demolished the Great Hall and Kitchen, a large space behind the salon still remains where the Great Hall once stood.

Oxburgh Hall has been owned by the Bedingfeld family since its construction in 1482, and, although now kept by the National Trust, the Bedingfeld family are still in residence at the hall.

Hands on the Past visit the Hall in June/July and offer an opportunity for school children to visit the Hall in the year 1588. The Spanish Armada presents a threat to the shores of England and the English troops are readying themselves for battle. Life for those living and working at Oxburgh Hall was uncertain and dangerous for the owner, Thomas Bedingfeld, remains adherent to the Roman Catholic faith and, under the Protestant rule of Elizabeth I, this was a very precarious position to be in.

Students visiting the Hall will rotate around a carousel of a minimum of 6 activities both within the house and around the grounds. The characters they meet might include Lady Bedingfeld – talking about the problems of being a Catholic in 1588, a soldier training the militia, a man-at-arms practising with a new weapon – the caliver, a woman from the still room making medicines for the household’s ailments, a scribe completing documents for the Bedingfelds, a musician who provides light merriment in these troubled times, a servant from the kitchens or a visiting pedlar selling wares or, perhaps, playing games. Perhaps a priest hunter will arrive to seek out those who would celebrate the forbidden Mass and the places built into the house to hide them.

The day starts at 10.30 with an introduction, we stop shortly after 12.00 for lunch and the day concludes at 14.00. Other start and finish times may be possible by prior arrangement.

Our Sites

Hands On The Past currently invite schools to three sites around the country:

Oxburgh Hall >

Baddesley Clinton >

Hedingham Castle >

Your Event

Hands On The Past can build an event for your school but we also offer 'ready-made' presentions.

Take a look at the list of activities we can already offer:

Presentation/Activities Listing >