Felbrigg Hall

BY CHARLES EVANS

Felbrigg Hall is a 17th-century English country house near the village of that name in Norfolk. Part of a National Trust property, the unaltered 17th-century house is noted for its Jacobean architecture and fine Georgian interior. Outside the house are a walled garden, an orangery and orchards.

The estate originated with the Felbrigg family. It passed to John Wyndham (died 1475), and was then in that family for centuries.

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Thomas Wyndham (died 1522) was a councillor to King Henry VIII. Later residents included John Wyndham (1558–1645), probably the builder of Felbrigg Hall. The last Wyndham or Windham of Felbrigg was William Wyndham (died 1810). Much land had been added to the medieval estate in the 17th and 18th centuries. Above the entablature the family arms and the projecting bays bear the words GLORIA DEO IN EXCELSIS in pierced stone, surmounted by heraldic beasts.

The last owner of the house before it passed into National Trust ownership was Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer. His heir, his brother Richard, was killed in action in the Second World War. Robert’s memorial to Richard is in the woods behind the house.

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Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer wrote a number of books, particularly about Norfolk, including Felbrigg: the Story of a House, and Norfolk in the Civil War, Faber, 1969. Robert Ketton-Cremer never married, and with no heirs, left the estate to the National Trust on his death in 1969. Part of the estate was acquired by Beeston Hall School.

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