Norfolk Houses - Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk
Felbrigg Hall was left to
The National Trust by R. Wyndham Ketton-Cremer who died
in 1969. He was known hereabouts as "the Squire". The
house he left is a large hall set in extensive parkland
Mostly Jacobean in style, it was altered in the 1750’s and again in about 1840. Written across the front of the hall are the words Gloria Deo in Excelsis, Glory to God in the Highest. The rooms that are open to the public are very much as they were during William Windhams II time.
They include: The Great Hall,
Dinning Room; Drawing Room; The Cabinet, The Staircase,
Library, The Rose Bedroom, The Red Bedroom, The Chinese
Bedroom, West Corridor, Kitchen, The Red Shutters
There are also extensive lands around the hall with a walled garden and vegetable garden an orangery, dovecot, park, lake and Great Woods. A number of events are held at the hall and also in its grounds throughout the year.
Sir Symon de Felbrigg was the royal standard bearer to King Richard II and it was he who first to built the original mediaeval hall on this site. Unfortunately only part of the cellars survive, in the present house. His first wife is buried (1416) in the church of St. Margaret’s which also stands within the Hall's grounds.
In the mid-fifteenth century John Wyndham of Norfolk acquired the property, then in 1615 the Somerset branch of the family obtained the hall. During the 17th century the Wyndham’s decided to rebuild the house and it is a member of this family who is said to haunt the library.
The Great Wood at Felbrigg was planted in the late 1600s it contains thousands of oaks also beeches, sycamore and maple. As a result the woodlands we see today are magnificent, particularly in autumn with its red and gold leaves. It is a popular place for long walks and bird watching and for those of you who are 'Early Risers' the National Trust organises a 'Dawn Chorus' walk during Spring at Felbrigg.
William Frederick was one of the more eccentric owners of Felbrigg, known as Mad Windham, he had a passion for trains and persuaded railway officials to allow him, strictly against the regulations, to drive the engines, collect tickets and wear and use his guard's uniform.
His wife brought a case against him
claiming that he was mad, but despite all the damning
evidence mounted against him, William was declared not
mad. Upon hearing this Punch wrote "Windham is sane
but England must be cracked". In 1864 he parted for the
last time from his wife having lost most of his fortune.
He was so broke he became the driver of the express
coach between Norwich and Cromer for the wages of a
guinea a week.
John Ketton, a prosperous local merchant, acquired the Felbrigg estate in 1863. His daughter Anna married Thomas Wyndham Cremer whose ancestor Sir John Wyndham had first built Fellbrigg for his son, thus bringing the ownership of Felbrigg full circle.