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Old Hall, South Burlingham, Norfolk

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 II* listed.

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It was 25 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 today is very much a lived-in house – a friendly, busy house, 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. In 2015, a production of The Poor Man’s Comfort (Robert Daborne) is planned. Daborne was a Jacobean playwright who married into the family in the 1600s.

Tour features

The whole house and gardens can be seen, from cellar to attic gallery to treehouse to shepherd’s hut.

December tour includes festive tea and house decorated for Christmas.


Fascinating people in a fascinating house followed by delicious tea and cakes ... A wonderful afternoon – fascinating and very entertaining.


Travelling along the A47 in the direction of Great Yarmouth, turn off through Brundall, Strumpshaw and Lingwood. Old Hall is half a mile beyond Lingwood, after a deep bend on the right. Parking on the gravel in front of the house.

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Useful information

Price £15.00
Duration 2 hours

Tea/coffee and cakes. Mince pies, tea and mulled wine in December.

Special restrictions

No dogs in house, stilettos might be suicidal for the wearers. Because our properties are old and fragile, unfortunately we cannot include children under 14.

Disabled access

Limited to parts of garden and some of ground floor.

Tour dates

Date Time Availability
Wed 19 Dec 2:30 pm Spaces available


To book a tour of this property on one of the tour dates click the tour booking button below. To request a group visit of this property with your party or club on a specific date click the Request a group visit button.

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