Castles Abbeys

Medieval Buildings

Various Pictures Two


This Month I shall feature some pictures of buildings I have taken photographs of over the last year.

If you require any further information on any of these sites, mail me and ask, I shall answer all I can.


The magnificent moated manor house of Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk was built by Sir Edmund Bedingfeld in 1482 after receiving a Charter licence from King Edward IV to build Walls, towers and battlements, although it is very possible a manor house exisited on this site much earlier than this date.

The building is only built of soft brick and would be incapable of resisting any seige or bombardment and can therefore not be classified as a castle but a moated fortified manor house. Most of the building remains much as it did when it was first built, with only minor alterations made over the centuries to make the living space more comfortable.

The moated manor and beautiful gardens remain to this day in the Bedingfeld family and in 1982 they celebrated the 500th anniversary of it's existence. The Bedingfeld's originated from Normandy and it is said that the earliest ancestor, Ogerus de Pugeys, came over from Normandy at the time of the conquest as one of four Knights of the Lord Malet. The family continued to prosper through time with many members fighting for their king in the Scottish and French wars, with Sir Peter de Bedingfeld probably being the most famous after his actions at Crecy in 1346 alongside King Edward III and his son, Edward, Black Prince of Wales.


In August 1497, King Henry VII stayed at Oxburgh with his Queen, Elizabeth of York and later in the reign of King Henry VIII, Sir Edmund Bedingfeld was appointed Steward and Controller of Catherine of Aragon's household shortly after the King's marriage to Anne Boleyn. Bedingfeld was ordered to keep her under house arrest and had strict orders that she was not to have visitors or any correspondence. The Family did well under Henry VIII, probably because of Edmund's great loyalty and they also did equally well under Queen Mary. In 1553 Sir Henry Bedingfeld took 140 armed horsemen to Framlingham Castle, also featured on this web site, in support of Mary as she waited for her chance to claim the Throne for herself.

On the death of Mary the family were to suffer as followers of the Catholic faith. They lost all their titles and estates and were forced to remain at Oxburgh and not venture outside the district, this was a hard time for the Family and these restrictions made cntrolling family affairs difficult. The Family also suffered during the English Civil War as they gave their support to Charles I and only returned to favour under Charles II.

Oxburgh is a gem, and it's beautifully kept gardens and house make a lovely diversion for an afternnon. There are many original fittings and furnishings inside the house and staff are on hand to answer any questions you have.

Oxburgh Hall is now managed by The National Trust.


A lively mixture of Medieval architecture and 1930's Art Deco Design can be found at Eltham Palace, one of London's lesser known Royal Medieval Palaces. The Palace at Eltham dates back to the 14th Century and was one of Edward, Black Prince of Wales's favourites. Contemporary writers tell of his love for the Palace and how he went there for relaxation and rest after his Campaigns in France.

Henry VIII also enjoyed the Palace and spent much time here in his early life, he was responsible for building a sewer system in the Palace which can still be seen today. After the Civil War it was left to decay and eventually ended up in private ownership.

All that survives today from the medieval period is the Great Hall which was built by Edward IV and measures an impressive 100 feet in length. The main house, which now joins onto the hall, was commissioned by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld and completed in 1937. It is totally influenced by the French Art Deco style of the period with echoes of Cunard Ocean Liner style which go to make it a quite remarkable and unforgetting building.


The whole property has recently re-opened after a three year period of restoration. It is now managed by English Heritage.


The Jewel Tower, Westminster, London, is managed by English Heritage and is one of two surviving buildings of the original Medieval Palace at Westminster. It was built in c1365 to house the treasures of Edward III after his campaigns in France during the Hundred Years War. It now houses a permanant exhibition, ' Parliament Past and Present ' which operates on touch screens and also gives a virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament which are situated opposite the Tower.


Bayham Abbey East Sussex - Norwich Cathedral Norfolk, through the Erpingham Gate.

Batemans, Burwash, East Sussex.

Last but not least, the same as last year, a picture of Batemans in East Sussex. This is not a medieval building, but a fine Jacobean house that was the home of Rudyard Kipling between 1902-1936. It has been left as it was when he died, a wonderful house with beautiful gardens, I make no apology for including this picture on these pages.


© MWC2000

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