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

KIRSTEAD HALL, NORWICH



The Society visited Kirstead Hall on the 16th July, an outing arranged by Joy Clinton. This is a Grade 1 listed Elizabethan Manor house built around 1570 standing in four acres of land and visitors are invited to look around the gardens at their pleasure, but unfortunately the whole day was blanketed with very heavy rain with only occasional breaks, but not long enough to chance a walk around.
This Tudor House is built using the Flemish bond construction with red brick and a ‘pin tiled roof’. It is quite remarkable when viewing the House from the front (above) that it is only one room deep and not a square building, built with three other sides behind the front entrance. There are also a number of other listed buildings within this smallish estate including barns and the dovecote.
The artist Edward Seago as a young man used the east room as his studio despite artists preferring a north light for their work.

From early historical records this land is recorded in 1095 when it was land belonging to Bury St Edmunds Abbey. It suffered around 1450, along with much of the country, with the Black Death and because of this the village was rebuilt some distance away, after the old village lost its population to that horrible illness. Henry the Eighth confiscated the Abbey at Bury St Edmunds in 1536, when he took all their lands into his ownership. The site was subsequently bought from the King by John Cook as an investment and in 1544 was sold on to a Thomas Godsalve. His son Sir John inherited the property in 1552, but died in 1566 leaving it to his two sons William and Thomas and it seems that it was Thomas who began building the present house. The Dairy wing was added sometime during the 1600’s.

Pictured below the present owner Dermot, who professionally restores antique furniture, is showing members the damage on a late 18th century table and explaining how he produces veneers to match the original furniture. Next to that is the Grade 2* dovecote which has been restored by the owners Dermot and Judy Murphy. Judy incidentally is the gardener in the team!


The dovecote (above) is Grade 2* listed and octagonal in shape, built in the 18th century on a 17th century base. It was restored in 1980 by Mr & Mrs Murphy, including the replacement of all the roof timbers. It is very large but it has to be appreciated that these birds and their eggs were a food source in times past, to be used when other fresh food was running low. Our members were gathered outside whilst Dermot Murphy explained the purpose of a dovecote and their restoration of it. Members were allowed inside and the picture shows the individual Nest boxes, on one of the three walls, in which the birds could breed. It is most unlikely that the window bottom right was part of the original structure.
The rain had by now subsided and the party first had tea and cakes sitting outside before making their way to the coach for the journey back home. A final photograph taken over the heads of members on their way back to Toosey.



M.J.T.
23/7/11


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