Norfolk, PE33 9PS
Home to the Bedingfeld family since 1482, this romantic moated manor house charts history from medieval austerity to Victorian comfort.
Standing within a large square moat, Oxburgh Hall was enclosed until 1772, when Sir Richard Bedingfeld made alterations to create a more open U-shaped house. Perhaps its most impressive feature is the grand fortified gatehouse – designed to evoke the owner's power and prestige. However, this is largely symbolic; Oxburgh has always been a family home, never a fortress.
Another notable part of the hall is the priest hole, reached via a trapdoor disguised in the tile floor. The Catholic Bedingfeld family would have used this tiny room to hide a priest in the event of a raid and, unlike other examples, the one at Oxburgh is open to visitors and you can crawl inside.
The hall displays needlework hangings by Mary, Queen of Scots, which she worked on while in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury following her escape to England. There are further embroidery hangings by Bess of Hardwick.