Please note: This house does not offer free entry to Historic House members.
For alternative options please see other opening options.
Old Hall is an Elizabethan lawyer’s country house, with a decorated porch, wallpaintings of hunting scenes and many original features.
The present owners rescued it from dereliction and have filled it with colour and a hugger-mugger of books and pictures . A house included in Simon Jenkins’ Thousand Best Houses, grade 2* listed.
It was 28 years ago that the present owners first saw Old Hall. It was then in a distressed and distressing state. Owned by Norfolk County Council, it had been boarded up for five years and had suffered both neglect and vandalism. Since then much work has been done, with very little change to the original structure and fabric. With the help of English Heritage, the hunting scenes in grisaille, previously unknown, have been uncovered and the gallery restored. Other features have been revealed including a fine fireplace in the solar, though much still remains to be discovered. The unkempt remains of yard and field around the house have been turned into a garden, though that is very much an ongoing project.
The house, with its decorated triple storied-porch, its wallpaintings and fragments of original wall decoration is once again a painted house, with rich colour schemes, murals and painted doors and floors.
The house today is very much a lived-in house – a friendly, busy home, where contemporary pictures live happily with English watercolours and Bloomsbury-inspired decorations share space with eighteenth century books. Peter Scupham is a poet; his wife, Margaret (Steward) has written radio plays, run a travelling theatre, and directed at the Maddermarket. The house has been brought to life by them for others as well as themselves, with productions of Shakespeare’s comedies (Shakespeare in the Garden) and Poetry Picnics.
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The whole house and gardens can be seen, from cellar to attic gallery to shepherd’s hut.
2 - 2.5 hours
£15.00 per person.
Tea/coffee and cakes. Mince pies, tea and mulled wine in December.
Limited to parts of garden and some of ground floor.
No dogs in house, stilettos are not permitted.