DiCamillo Companion

Bylaugh Hall (Bylaugh Park)

  • Built / Designed For: Sir John Lombe's trustees

    House & Family History: Sir Charles Barry, Jr., together with his father's former assistant, Robert Richardson Banks, designed the ashlar-faced 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.) Bylaugh was among the first buildings to use steel 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, 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.

    Comments: It was prophesized that the House was cursed to a life of 100 years.

  • 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 and Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
    Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
    Year Published: 1981
    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: Vince family; here since 2000.

    Past Seat / Home of: Sir John Lombe, late 18th century. Edward Beevor, 19th century. The Rev. Henry Evans-Lombe, 19th century; Major Edward Henry Evans-Lombe, 20th century; Evans-Lombe family here until 1917. Henry Wheelwright Marsh, 1917-43.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: No

    Phone: 01362-688-121

    Email: info@bylaugh.com

    Website: http://www.bylaugh.com

    Historic Houses Member: No