A project to restore the water levels that have helped keep The National Trust's Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk standing for more than 500 years has been completed successfully in time for the 2014 season.
The mansion, completed in 1482, is surrounded by its original moat, which provides protection for the foundations. During 2013 staff noticed that the water levels in the moat were dropping at noticeable levels as the River Gadder, which feeds the moat, had lost water due to leaks in its man-made engineering structures in My Lady’s Wood.
The work involved repairs to the Gadder’s brick weir and sluice the removal of 1000 cubic metres of silt from the riverbed, and has taken nearly three months.
It has also enabled the National Trust, which owns the Oxburgh estate, to partly restore My Lady’s Wood to more like its original 19th century design, including opening up more views of the Hall. The improvements have also provided a waterway for otter to visit Oxburgh.
Helen Gregory, Oxburgh’s Outdoors Manager, said “what a fantastic outcome, we now have a river full of water and not full of silt, with water flowing into the moat and maintaining higher water levels than we’ve ever had.”
Oxburgh Hall opens on Saturday, March 1, Saturdays to Wednesdays (seven days during school holidays) until November 2, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/oxburgh-hall .