DiCamillo Companion

Bylaugh Hall (Bylaugh Park)

  • 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: William Andrews Nesfield

    Date: Circa 1848
    Designed: Grounds and gardens

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    Architect: Charles Barry Jr.

    Date: 1851
    Designed: Barry and Banks together designed House

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    Architect: Robert Richardson Banks

    Date: 1851
    Designed: Barry and Banks together designed House

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  • 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
    ISBN: 1852852526
    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
    ISBN: 0850110351
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • "Inside Out" (2008 - BBC TV regional current affairs series, episode on photographer Brian Wells).
  • 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

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 01362-688-121

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: http://www.bylaugh.com

    Historic Houses Member: No