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Blo’Norton Hall, a place where, according to Woolf, ‘the very light seems to filter through deep layers’

Courtesy of Savills

In the summer of 1906, Virginia Woolf made a visit to the luscious green countryside of the Norfolk-Suffolk border. Stepping off the train into the sun, she was surrounded by light and green leaves, a sweeping lime avenue and the sound of birds, ‘every mile seemed to draw a thicker curtain than the last between you & the world,’ she wrote of the journey. ‘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; & the air circulates slowly, as though it had but to make the circuit of the Hall, & its duties were complete.’

The Hall of which Woolf was writing was the Elizabethan manor house, Blo’Norton Hall in East Harling, Norfolk – which could be yours for £2.6 million. 

The drawbridge over the now-out-of function moat at Blo’Norton Hall

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As the setting for Woolf’s short story The Journal of Miss Joan Martyn, featuring protagonist Rosamund Merridew who researches England’s land-tenure system in medieval England, it will make a beautiful historic home to a lucky buyer. ‘It is 300 years old, striped with oak bars inside, old staircases, ancestral vats and portraits; there is a garden, and a moat,’ she wrote to her friend, Violet Dickinson.

A back view of Blo’ Norton Hall, complete with topiary and lawn

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Later, in 1906, the hall was visited by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, son of Sir Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. He stayed for 20 years, renting it until he died in 1926. In his will, he left papers belonging to the Yarmouth shoemaker poet David Service – now housed in the Norfolk record office. 

BloGrade II, listed dining hall with 16th century panelling, complete with fireplace and light from the east and west side of the house

Courtesy of Savills

The sitting room at Blo’ Norton Hall, with textured rugs and quaint fireplace

Courtesy of Savills

A quaint, rambling, Elizabethan abode, complete with overhanging eaves and stained glass, Blo’ Norton Hall is surrounded by a former moat and nestled among topiary, thick hornbeam hedging, gravelled pathways, beds of lavender – and even an orchard. 

Inside, the pièce de résistance is a Grade II-listed listed dining hall with 16th century panelling, complete with fireplace and light from the east and west side of the house. With nine bedrooms and five reception rooms, the house would make an ideal location for parties and hosting. 

The principal bedroom at Blo’ Norton Hall, with panelled four-poster bed

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The 72-acre grounds date back to 1280, consisting of arable land, parks and meadows. They also feature a tennis court and cottages, which have been renovated since 2009,  including being redecorated, and with new plumbing and drainage systems in place. Sweep down the driveway, and let your imagination run wild with Virginia Woolf’s stories. 

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The kitchen at Blo’ Norton Hall boasts a modern island and wood-beams

Courtesy of Savills