A Travellerspoint blog

June 2019

Oxburgh Hall

Norfolk

Greetings! Our next adventure took us to Oxburgh Hall, a moated country house, entrusted to the National Trust in Oxborough, Norfolk. The house was constructed around 1482 by Sir Edmund Bedingfeld and remained a home to the Bedingfeld family for over 500 years. The house has survived a fire during the Civil War, neglect, and a threat of demolition. The Bedingfeld family was devoutly Catholic, and the house is famous for its secret Priest Hole. A Catholic priest may have had to hide within the small disguised room in the event of troops raiding the house. The room was reached via a trapdoor, which when closed, blends in with the tiled floor. The house also known for the "Oxburgh Hangings,"needlework created by Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury (aka Bess of Hardwick) between 1570 and 1585. These needleworks were created while Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned in England on Elizabeth I's orders.

Oxburgh Hall: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/oxburgh-hall?PlaceMapClick=254

Oxburgh Hall, A fortified manor house:
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We were on a self-guided tour which started in the South Corridor and led into the Saloon:
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Antwerp Cabinet:
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From the Saloon, we entered the West Drawing Room, followed by the West Staircase:
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Artifacts in West Drawing Room:
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Ceiling:
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Staircase:
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Lion on the staircase banister:
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Wallpaper along staircase:
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After the West Staircase, we came to my favorite room in the manor, the Library:
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Secret servant door in Library:
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View from Library:
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From the Library, we were led into the Dining Room and then the North Staircase:
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North Staircase:
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From the North Staircase we walked through the Lobby into the North Bedroom and the Boudoir.
Lobby:
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Portrait of a Carmelite nun:
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Area above North Bedroom fireplace:
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The Boudoir:
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After the Boudoir we wanted into the Marian Hangings Room, which display the Oxburgh Hangings. This is where the embroideries and needlework that were created by Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, were presumably moved after 1973. Mary, Queen of Scots, was not imprisoned at Oxburgh. She was considered a threat to the throne by Elizabeth I. Elizabeth I kept Mary, Queen of Scots, captive under the watchful eye of the Countess of Shrewsbury's husband, the Early of Shrewsbury who held Mary at several of his properties throughout England: Tutbury Castle, Sheffield Castle, Sheffield Manor Lodge, Wingfield Manor and Chatsworth House, which are all located in the interior of England halfway between Scotland and London. The embroideries arrived to Oxburgh in 1761 as a marriage present for Mary Browne, of Cowdray Park, to Sir Richard Bedingfeld and were used as bed hangings in the King's Room and remained there until 1973.
These scissors reportedly belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots:
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Following the Marian Hangings Room, we went into the King's Bedroom. This room really wasn't a bedroom, it was more for show, according to the docent. The room is located right above then archway at the entrance to the hall:
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Off to the side of the King's Room was the secret Priest Hole:
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Next we took a small staircase to the Queen's Room and to the Roof:
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Views:
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The concluded the tour of the manor. We opted to find the Chapel and take a Woodlands Walk.
The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception and St. Margaret:
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Woodlands:
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Gardens on the side of the manor:
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Oxburgh Hall was a lovely manor. The cafe served the most delicious honey and ginger scones! We had a great time touring this property and would most definitely return.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 10:06 Archived in England Tagged of priest queen norfolk national i mary hall elizabeth trust catholicism scots oxburgh Comments (1)

Belvoir Castle

Leicestershire

Greetings! Today's adventure took us to Belvoir Castle, meaning "beautiful view." The name Belvoir is actually pronounced Beaver... Yes, beaver...Not sure I understand how Belvoir became Beaver, but oh well. The castle is privately owned by the 11th Duke of Rutland who lives at the castle (the Duke also owns Haddon Hall which is located in the Peak District because who doesn't need two manors these days), and is open to the public on certain dates throughout the year. The house has been lived in by the family for over 500 years. The castle is famous for being the Windsor Castle "stand in" for the Netflix series, The Crown. It has also been used in several films that feature royal history. Every monarch since James I has stayed overnight at Belvoir Castle, except for the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II (although she has been to Belvoir).

Belvoir Castle: https://www.belvoircastle.com

There have been four castles built on the hilltop. The first ground breaking was in 1067 and the castle as we saw it when we visited was from the 19th century and renovated between 1801 and 1832. Elizabeth Manners, the wife of the 5th Duke of Rutland, oversaw the renovations and clearly decorated the castle for showing off and entertaining. She took inspiration from traveling across Europe and recreated those inspirations at Belvoir. Each new generation of the Rutland family that takes over the castle, leaves their mark in one room or another. To call the castle opulent was certainly an understatement, it was spectacular! Unfortunately, photography was not allowed inside of the castle, so I took some exterior pictures as well as several in the Rose Garden. Capability Brown's last "great" garden design was also at Belvoir. I just can't seem to escape his "landscape artistry." There are several gardens and walks at the castle (Japanese Woodland, Duchess's Garden, Hermit's Garden, and the Duke's Walk), but we were only able to get to the Spiral Garden and the Rose Garden.

Fun fact, there are a couple of books our tour guide suggested that are associated with Belvoir Castle. One which the current Duke of Rutland authored and another based on some history of the house. I included links below, in case anyone would like more information about the books.

Resolution: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Resolution-Brothers-Nation-Crisis-World/dp/1784979910
The Secret Rooms: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/nov/16/the-secret-rooms-catherine-bailey-review

Castle:
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Views:
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Gardens:
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Flowers:
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Belvoir Castle was pretty spectacular and definitely did remind me of Windsor Castle in many ways. It definitely had the typical Norman feel to it; high on a hilltop (hard to invade) and fortified, which is pretty typical of the defensive network of castles William the Conqueror had constructed. We had a great tour guide during our tour and I would like to return to explore some of the other walking trails and gardens.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 23:47 Archived in England Tagged the of castle norman crown duke william brown beaver manners capability belvoir rutland conqueror Comments (2)

Dublin - Day 3

St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Stephen's Green, and Museums

Our third day we had purchased tickets to go to St. Patrick's Cathedral and had planned to visit some of the gardens as well as explore more parts of Dublin.

We had tickets to St. Patrick's Cathedral as soon as they opened and I would highly recommend trying to get into the cathedral as soon as they open. After an hour or so of opening, the place was packed and almost too hard to take pictures or to move around to the different areas of the cathedral. St. Patrick's Cathedral was founded in 1191 and is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. The cathedral has BEAUTIFUL stained glass windows throughout, some of the most beautiful I've seen so far. We learned that stained glass was used to teach illiterate folks about the stories of the Bible.

St. Patrick's Cathedral:
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Interior:
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Relics in the cathedral:
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Interesting floor tiles:
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After the Cathedral, we walked through St. Stephen's Green and Merrion Square and went to the National Museum of Ireland - Natural History Museum and the National Gallery of Ireland, both had free admission. We also found Oscar Wilde's childhood home.

St. Stephen's Green
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Merrion Square:
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Natural History Museum:
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We had a fantastic time in Dublin. There is so much to do and see and the people are so friendly. We definitely hope to make it back at some point. On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 07:53 Archived in Ireland Tagged st. history gallery of square green ireland dublin museum cathedral national st stephens oscar wilde patrick's merrion Comments (0)

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