Record Details

NHER Number:3552
Type of record:Building
Name:Oxnead Hall


The seat of the Paston family in the 16th and 17th centuries, Oxnead was one of the most impressive houses in Norfolk. The house was rebuilt by Sir Clement Paston in the late 16th century, and enlarged in the 17th century. The earthworks of the original formal gardens are still visible, and some of the statuary has survived and is now at Blickling Hall. The Hall was mostly demolished in the 18th century, and the surviving sections make up the present house.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2307 2401
Map Sheet:TG22SW

Full description

May 1973.
Surveyed during MPBW funded rapid moat survey.
See (S1).
J. Allen (NLA), 15 August 2001.

Moated site to southeast is a later water garden.
Cellars remain of Paston's mansion late 16th century; also stables and kitchens (not 19th century as given by (S2) and (S3)), base of garden gateway, entrance gate, barn.
Earthworks of gardens.
14th/15th century windows reused as folly.
Listed grade II* (stables, kitchens) and grade II (barn, garden walls, gates etc).
See (S4).
E. Rose, 29 April 1988.

February 2003.
Most of the area south of the Hall has been landscaped into a parterre and other water features, making identification of the older moated site extremely difficult.
H. Paterson (A&E), 26 February 2003.

Oxnead was rebuilt by Sir Clement Paston in the late 16th century, and became one of the most magnificent houses in England during the 17th century, under the care of Sir William Paston, and Sir Robert Paston. Inventories of the house and gardens from the late 17th century describe nearly 80 rooms, and some of the treasures from the house are now in the collections of Norwich Castle Museum. The gardens themselves were at the forefront of Renaissance design in Norfolk, and household accounts record the planting of walks and avenues, leading into the park. The famous sculptor, Nicholas Stone, designed a number of statues and a an iron pergola for the gardens, as well as interior fittings such as chimneypieces. The Hall was sold in 1731 after the failure of the male line, and was demolished later in the 18th century.
See (S5).
Sarah Spooner (NLA) 7 October 2005

(S6) added to secondary file. Includes copy of John Adey Repton's reconstruction drawing and plan.
A. Yardy (HES), 16 August 2011.

November 2011. Watching brief during installation of French drains.
The trench adjacent to the barn revealed the foundations which were of a double-step construction. The trench adjacent to the house was not monitored while it was excavated, but subsequent recording revealed the flint and brick foundations of the wall of the house. Two foundations most probably associated with bay windows were recorded, as were two further foundations which may have served as buttresses to the bay windows. An octagonal brick structure, perhaps the remains of the base of a column was also recorded.
See (S7) for further information.
A. Cattermole (HES), 6 November 2014.

Monument Types

  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: NHER TG 2324J-V.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988. Village of jackdaw legend. 9 May.
---Monograph: Williamson, T.. 1998. Archaeology of the Landscape Park: Garden Design in Norfolk, England, c. 1680-1840.. BAR (British Series). Vol 268. Plan, p 23.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. Historic Oxnead awaits new owner with £1/4m to spend. 16 November.
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. NHER TG 2324W-AE.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 22 SW 4 [4].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. Not Blickling likely!. 12 March.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 636.
---Serial: 1826. Excursions Through Norfolk Supplement.
---Photograph: Oxnead Hall. Print.
---Publication: Willins, E.P. (ed. By Thos. Garratt). 1890. Some Old Halls and Manor Houses in the County of Norfolk.. Pl 38.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Illustration: Rogerson, A. and Mauser, J.. 1973. Rapid Moat Survey Sketch Plan.
<S2>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-East Norfolk and Norwich. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 297.
<S3>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1372951.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S5>Unpublished Document: Spooner, S.. 2005. The Third Nature: Seventeenth Century Designed Landscapes in Norfolk.
<S6>Article in Serial: J. Harris. 1986. "Oh Happy Oxnead": Oxnead and the Yarmouth Collection. Country Life. June 5, pp.1630-1632.
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Birks, C. 2013. Report on an Archaeological Watching Brief at Oxnead Hall, Oxnead, Norfolk. Chris Birks Archaeological Services. CB271R.

Related records

55709Related to: Barn north of Oxnead Hall (Building)
55710Related to: Boundary Wall, Gates and Gate Piers, Oxnead Hall (Building)
MNO11703Related to: Cellar imm E of E facade of Oxnead Hall Oxnead BRAMPTON (Revoked)
55712Related to: Remains of archway south of Oxnead Hall (Building)

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