A project to restore the water levels that have helped to keep Oxburgh Hall standing for over 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, has lost water due to leaks in its man-made engineering structures in My Lady’s Wood which have assisted managing the water levels in the past.
The work involved repairs to the Gadder’s brick weir and sluice, the removal of 1000 cubic metres of silt from the river bed, 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 more breathtaking views of the hall. The improvements have also provided a water-way for otter to visit Oxburgh, as well as a backdrop for stunning displays of snowdrops.
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.”