Norton Hall was
in the late 16th Century by Sir Richard Knightley of Fawsley
(1533 – 1615) who was a member of Parliament and leading patron of the Puritans during
the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. His second wife was Lady Elizabeth Seymour, daughter of
the Duke of
Somerset and cousin of Edward VI. Lady Seymour died in 1602 and was interred
in Norton Church where a remarkable canopied alter tomb remains to this day.
After the death of Sir Richard Knightley in 1615, the manor of Norton was sold to Captain
Nicholas Breton. The Breton family were to hold the manor, through seven generations,
for nearly 200 years until around 1800, when Norton was bought by the Botfield family.
Norton Hall was considerably altered and extended by Beriah Botfield in the 19th Century
who was also responsible for many improvements within Norton Church and the building
a row of new cottages in the village.
Botfield was an avid botanist, bibliographer and archaeologist and it was his passion for
the latter which resulted in his archaeological excavation of the Roman Villa on Borough Hill.
He thoroughly excavated and recorded the site, employing an artist to make drawings.
These illustrations together with Botfield's notes, manuscripts and some of the antiquities
found on the site are now in the
For more details of the hall and its history click on