Holiday Ideas > History of Blo Norton Hall

History of Blo Norton Hall

As  with many old houses, the precise history of Blo Norton Hall is not  entirely clear. The Hall was  certainly in existence in 1585 and certain features indicate the work of one  John Brampton who died in 1535. Records exist as far back as the 13th  Century and Prince Frederick Duleep Singh (see below) was of the view that  since about 1280 the Hall had never been sold outright in that there was always  a connecting link between each owner. 

The families involved were Bigod,  Brome, Brampton, Best, Browne and Goldson. No member of these families has  lived at the Hall for over 100 years, the Hall having been let to a variety of  tenants until January 2009. The present owner purchased the property in  March 2007 by means of purchase of its owning company from 29 family  shareholders. If Prince Freddie is correct, this represents the first  clean break in ownership for over 700 years. 

If readers are curious about the word “Blo’”, it seems likely that it is a phonetic shortening of Belaugh or Bel’eau and that the word means merely “by the water” so Blo’Norton is really Norton by the Water. 

In the summer of 1906 Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) came to stay at Blo Norton Hall. The Hall provided the setting for her short story The Journal of Miss Joan Martyn. In the story the main character Rosamund Merridew, is a historian researching England's land-tenure system. This part of Norfolk is particularly isolated and Woolf records in her diary the journey from Diss railway station:

"'...every mile seemed to draw a thicker curtain than the last between you and the world. So that finally, when you are set down at the Hall, no sound whatever reaches your ear; the very light seems to filter through deep layers; and the air circulates slowly, as though it had but to make the circuit of the Hall, and its duties were complete."

While staying at Blo Norton, Virginia used to cycle around the Norfolk lanes and visited various places including Kenninghall

  • Blo Norton Hall

    Prices from £1,995.00

    Blo Norton Hall, a stunning, moated house dating back to the sixteenth century, is located in the pretty south Norfolk village of Blo Norton. The village itself lies on the Little River Ouse which separates Suffolk from Norfolk. It is surrounded by quiet lanes, ideal for walking, cycling and painting and is close to Redgrave and Lopham Fen. The Hall provided the setting for Virginia Woolfs’ short story, The Journal of Miss Joan Martyn. In the story, the main character, Rosamond Merridrew, is a historian researching Englands’ land tenure system. One day, she comes across a forgotten manor house and pays a call to investigate meeting the inhabitants and eventually gets her hands on the diary of one of their ancestors, Joan Martyn.

    • Sleeps 21
    • 9 bedrooms & 7 bathrooms
    • Grand Dining Hall with Large Fire Place
    • Elegant Drawing Room with Fireplace
    • Sunday departure time by 17.30hrs, no more rushing around, enjoy your stay and miss the traffic!