A trip to Felbrigg Hall

Felbrigg Hall

Drawing room at Felbrigg Hall.

On one of Norfolk’s more gloomy days, a trip to the beach was substituted with a visit to another of East Anglia’s fine country estates (see Blickling Hall and Somerleyton).

Felbrigg Hall lacks the grandeur and scale of Blickling Hall, but it is a rather handsome building nonetheless. Sadly my unreliable, aging camera ran out of power halfway through the day, so I haven’t got any shots of the exterior of the building nor of the beautiful woods that surround it, but (unusually) I was allowed to take some snaps of the rooms, so we shall have to make do with those.

Felbrigg Hall

Dining room at Felbrigg Hall.

As with many fine houses, the former occupants were an odd bunch, with one in particular proving to be more than eccentric. ‘Mad’ Windham and his debts led to the selling of the estate in 1863. He had a strange penchant for dressing up in uniforms and causing havoc – a guide told us that he used to dress up as a station guard and cause chaos on the platforms by blowing his whistle.

Felbrigg Hall

Bedroom at Felbrigg Hall.

Other occupants who caught my eye were two very severe -looking Victorian sisters (who I believe were Marion and Getrude Ketton). There were several photos of them dotted around the lower levels of the house, but there was barely any information on them. They were pictured getting into their carriage, stern expressions firmly in place, as well as tending to the trees in the orangery, again looking as though they had swallowed a basket of lemons. From my perusal of the Hall’s website, I have deduced that they died early, although no information is provided on why or when.

Another point of interest for me was the diary of Rachel Ketton. It was interesting to read her brief notes on her daily rounds of social visits, dinners and hunting parties, as well as to see several possessions laid out in a cabinet.

If you go to visit, I also recommend looking out for the ‘slipper bath’ – it doesn’t look very comfy!

Felbrigg Hall

The luxurious slipper bath!

If you are blessed with a good day, a roam around the many walks that litter the estate is a must. We wandered along the Victory path, which was made to commemorate the last squire’s brother who was killed during the Second World War.

You can find out more about Felbrigg Hall by visiting its website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/felbrigg-hall


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