HISTORICAL SOCIETY
VISIT LINDEN HSE IN EYE
VISIT TO WEST STOW HALL
WW1 EXHIBITION 2014
COLUMBINE HALL VISIT
GARDEN PARTY 2012
BEDFIELD HALL VISIT
KIRSTEAD HALL, NORWICH
FRINTON STATION HOUSE
BOURNE MILL VISIT
CHRISTMAS MEETING 2009
PROGRAMME 2009-10
VISIT COGGESHALL ABBEY
QUIZ NIGHT 2008
2007 GET TOGETHER
CHRISTMAS PARTY 2006
DEENE PARK VISIT
WAR EXHIBITION 2005
VISIT MELFORD HALL
VISIT PAYCOCKES HOUSE
VISIT TO LAVENHAM
EXHIBITION 2004
CHRISTMAS PARTY 2003
CHRISTMAS PARTY 2001
VISIT TO WISBECH
VILLAGE WALKS
PRIORY EXHIBITION -01
CHRISTMAS PARTY 2000
COFFEE MORNING

VISIT TO HISTORIC BEDFIELD HALL AND CHURCH

The Historical Society visiting group being met outside St Nicholas Church Bedfield by Timothy Easton, the artist owner of Bedfield Hall, seen on the extreme left hand side of this picture, who is to be our guide for the afternoon. Nick Lee our treasurer is in the foreground checking attendees.

Meetings and visits for our Historical Society are organised and published by Joy Clinton the Programme Secretary. On 28th July 2012 she had arranged for Bedfield Hall, Framlingham, Suffolk to receive a party from our local Society.
Bedfield Hall, the successor to a building on the site in the 9th century, is just a few hundred yards from the 11th century Parish Church of St Nicholas, Bedfield Manor was more properly built by the Normans in the 11th century, then in 1421 the present central building was completed with the two wings either side being added between 1620 and 1630.
Until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the manor was held by Eye Priory but the dissolution which was accomplished by a set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541, solely intended by Henry VIII to appropriate the Church and Monastic income, resulted in the Eye Priory loosing ownership. The Hall is surrounded by a moat dug out around the end of the 1200’s that today is crossed by five bridges connecting the large two acre gardens to the outside gardens. The artist Timothy Easton and his wife Christine have owned the Hall for the last 26 years, where many of his painting adorn the walls of the Hall.

The Church tower was probably built during the 14th or 15th century and is similar to many other towers built in this part of Suffolk. The tower was badly damaged during the hurricane of 1988 and money was raise by the small Parish, numbered only in the low hundreds to effect the repairs. Recently the nave roof and a further repair to the tower have been undertaken.

Timothy describing the building material and its treatment in an area where large stone blocks are a rare commodity and the walls built with small pieces of stone and flint would have been covered with a render and painted. He referred particularly to the doorway and door in the picture, one of the parts of the original Norman Church built in the 11th century.

A view of the tower from the south. Inside the roof is a ‘scissor beam’ timber roof restored in 1995 with many of the 14th century timber in situ.

Inside the Church looking towards the baptismal font, Timothy Easton holds up a board with pictures of some of the woodcarving on the dado, which is the base of the Rood Screen and the only part surviving over the years from the original 15th century screen which, at this time, has been removed for restoration. He described the various marks and symbols around the church, many secretly representing the Blessed Virgin Mary with a crowned ‘M’, after obvious depictions of her were totally forbidden and if found were destroyed during the reformation’. The floor of the Church is of Suffolk Gault brick with a number of memorial tomb black slabs in the centre aisle.


This is a Tapestry of Bedfield Buildings and was crafted by parishioners in 1993. Each buildings name is part of the tapestry work, with the centre square in the bottom row containing the names of the lady craftsmen who produced this delightful display.



BEDFIELD HALL


A reflection of Bedfield Hall in the surrounding moat. The moat is not this wide all round the Hall, but does in fact vary in width, whilst completely surround the Hall.

The Party have just crossed a bridge over the moat and are facing the main doorway into the hall. Mr Timothy Easton is describing the outside of the building and drawing attention to the two additions either side, that can be seen in the large picture above this.

The visiting party were divided into two groups, one half to tour the Hall the other to view the gardens. Timothy said to those going round the gardens, they may open any of the many gates they would find barring their way. These gates served to control the flock of geese.

There were many examples of Topiary Art around the gardens, some such as this of large static displays and others in pots. Timothy’s wife Christine is the topiarist who does all the garden work, with some assistance for the heavier work.

The gardens were quite interesting to tour as at every turn you were able to cross a bridge to gardens outside the moat then return by another bridge to the Hall side of the water. There were about 30 geese in a compound.

A typical walk with flowers either side leading to an archway to the next section.

Parish Councillor George Gibbs leading his wife June over one of the many bridges. .


Timothy Easton pointed out to our group in one of the rooms how the ceiling in this particular room was covered in magical symbols to ward off evil spirits like witches and their familiars. The ceiling has been left exactly as it was when it was uncovered a few years ago.


The section of the ceiling Timothy pointed out to us showed interlinked circles of the 3 Goddesses of witchcraft, with destructive symbols inserted within them. (Three interlinked circles called the triquetra).

All were agreed it was a very worthwhile trip to Suffolk. Bedfield Hall and Bedfield Church were both steeped in history and it was quite remarkable just how much of both buildings history has been preserved, enabling an increase to the knowledge of visitors such as our group, in addition to the added enjoyment of the pleasant surroundings. Tea and cakes finished an excellent day, with thanks from all to Joy Clinton for organising the visit.


Another beautiful reflection in the moat. This is the main entrance bridge to access the front door.

M.J.T.
30/7/12


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