Yaxley Hall and the churches at Thornham Magna and Parva

  • Yaxley Hall |
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Yaxley Hall dates back to the 1500s.  During the 18th Century the owners carried out alterations in the ‘Gothick’ style, leading to the addition of crenulations on the front faade and the insertion of an intricate and ornate window.  This was taken out in 1905, but the present owner has installed a replica.  For 300 years the Hall was in the hands of only two families, the Yaxleys, and the Earls of Scarsdale, the 4th Earl using the house as a home for his mistress and their children.  Henrietta Nelson, the reputed ghost of Yaxley Hall, was one of the family and her painting has only recently been returned to the Hall after an absence of 100 years.  Other owners have been Blanche Broadwood (of the piano family) and Sir Basil Spence, architect of Coventry Cathedral.  This visit is possible thanks to the kind invitation of Dominic Richards, the present owner.

In the afternoon visit the churches of Thornham Parva and Thornham Magna with their Rector, Father Adrian Mason.  The Retable is now here it is in all its glory, together with a very good guidebook by Professor Paul Binski from Cambridge.  Also in the church are a fine mahogany eighteenth century gallery, some extensive wall paintings concerned with the martyrdom of St Edmund and an example of Sir Laurence Whistler’s glass engraving.  At Thornham Magna church there is a record number of hatchments on display and a fine monument to Lord Henniker by J. Kendrick.  Thornham Walks, on the old Henniker Estate, has 12 miles of waymarked walks, so if it’s a sunny afternoon...

You are welcome to picnic in the grounds of Yaxley Hall, or in the Hall if wet.

Directions:  On the A140 going south from Norwich beyond the turning for Eye look out for the signs for Yaxley -ignore them but slow down because the way to the Hall is a narrow lane on the left of the A140. It is signed ‘Hall Lane only’ on the opposite side of the road. Postcode IP23 8BY.  To Thornham Parva continue south on the A140 and where the B1117 meets the road take a narrow lane opposite to Thornham Parva. IP23 8EY  Please park carefully on the verges if the car park is full.  Thornham Magna church is further along the lane and the Visitor Centre for Thornham Walks is along a lane to the right just after the church.

Venue details

Yaxley Hall
Hall Lane Yaxley Suffolk Norfolk IP23 8BY