The girls and I went to Oxburgh Hall today, just over the border in Norfolk, and a grand day out we had too. It wasn't too hot, but warm enough, and the rain held off all day even though there were some clouds about the sky. We arrived just before lunchtime, and had a tour of the house before retiring to the garden to eat lunch on a bench by the side of the moat.
Above - the gatehouse from near the ornate gates. Several deliveries were made to the tearooms whilst we were eating our lunch, and the YFG was interested to know whether the resident family, the Bedingfields, who occupy one range of the house, would get Tesco to deliver! I thought Waitrose was probably more likely!
Above - the gatehouse from a closer vantage point. We have been watching "The White Queen" on tv and were interested to read that her daughter, "The White Princess", Elizabeth of York, and her husband King Henry VII, stayed here for a few days one August - the big window in the middle of the gatehouse is where "The King's Room" is, and "The Queen's Room" is directly above it, linked by a stone spiral staircase, which also took us up onto the roof. By the time we had come safely back down to ground level, my legs were shaking!
Above - the central bed in the beautiful parterre off to one side of the Hall.
Above - this tower is in the area of the house which the family live - they gave it to the National Trust in the 1950s, I think - and we could see an older gentleman sitting in that large window which projects out in to the moat, and the YFG is fairly sure he was doing some Sudoku in the newspaper - she's got better eyesight than I have!
Above - we played a couple of games of croquet on the lawn!
Above - the sun came out and I was pleased to get the opportunity to take a photo with the sun shining on the warm red bricks. It is incredibly peaceful at Oxburgh, even when there are quite a few people around. I sat near this point for about 45 minutes with my jelly legs whilst the girls went on a woodland walk.
Above - this is the picture of the rear aspect of the Hall, where the Great Hall once stood. The little boat is rather endearingly called "The Bateau for the Chateau", painted in white on the side. We have had discussions today about keeping the house watertight, and how they might have addressed damp in the olden days....
A lovely day all round. Now that they are back in the swing of these property visits, the girls are keen to visit other NT properties - it is just a case of fitting it all in! I would love to go to Felbrigg Hall and Blickling Hall. We may get to Felbrigg in September as we have booked my sister's caravan near Sheringham for two nights before the girls go back to school, and Felbrigg isn't too far from there. Fingers crossed it is open the days we are there...