The house from a 1922 postcard
Earlier Houses: There was an earlier house, Bylaugh Old Hall [qv], that still stands near the 19th century house.
Built / Designed For: Edward Beevor-Lombe Jr.
House & Family History: Sir Charles Barry Jr., together with his father's former assistant, Robert Richardson Banks, designed Bylaugh Hall in the Elizabethan prodigy house style for the trustees of Sir John Lombe (William Wilkins Jr. drafted designs for the house in 1822 that were never implemented.) The house of yellow ashlar-faced stone cladding over red brick, was among the first buildings to use steel girders in its supporting structure, much like Victoria Tower at the Houses of Parliament, also by Sir Charles Barry (this technology eventually led to the building of skyscrapers). Upon completion of Bylaugh in 1852 (it cost £29,389 to build, the equivalent of £24 million in 2019 inflation adjusted values using the labour value commodity index), the "Norwich Mercury" had this to say: "Neither Holkham nor Houghton, those Norfolk wonders, can compare with it for either appearance or comfort." After Bylaugh Hall was completed local wags prophesized that the house was cursed to a life of just 100 years. The American insurance tycoon Henry Wheelwright Marsh (1860-1943), one of the founders of the insurance brokerage firm Marsh & McLennan, purchased Bylaugh in 1917; the house remained one of his homes until 1943. During World War II Bylaugh Hall was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force; No. 100 (Bomber Support) Group moved here in 1944. In the 1950s, after the death of Henry Marsh, Bylaugh was abandoned. The roof was removed to avoid paying taxes and the house was stripped of its lead and its interior fittings, after which it quickly fell into ruin, thus fulfilling the prophecy of appearing to last just 100 years. In 2005 Bylaugh Hall was restored as part of a development to convert the house into a resort, but financial problems prevented the completion of the development and the Bylaugh Estate was repossessed in 2009. In 2013 the estate was put up for sale; it is today a private residence.
Garden & Outbuildings: In the early 19th century the Bylaugh Hall Estate, standing at 19,000 acres, was the third-largest in Norfolk.
Architect: Charles Barry Jr.Date: 1851
Title: Creating Paradise: The Building of the English Country House, 1660-1880
Author: Wilson, Richard; Mackley, Alan
Year Published: 2000
Reference: pg. 36
Publisher: London: Hambledon and London
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Burke's & Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
Year Published: 1981
Reference: pg. 97
Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Not Listed
Current Seat / Home of: Ben and Helen Budworth; here since 2014.
Past Seat / Home of: Edward Beevor-Lombe Jr., 1850-52; Charles Beevor-Lombe, 1852-60; The Rev. Edward Evans-Lombe, 1860-61; The Rev. Henry Evans-Lombe Sr., 1861-78; The Rev. Henry Evans-Lombe Jr., 1878-97; Major Edward Henry Evans-Lombe, 1897-1917. Henry Wheelwright Marsh, 1917-43. Vince family, early 21st century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
Ownership Details: The house is available for events and accommodation