Weeting portrait takes pride of place

An original signed portrait engraving has been bought by an enthusiastic history group after one its members stumbled across it on a popular auction website.

The engraving of Thomas Skarratt Hall, by Sir Henry Macbeth-Raeburn, was discovered for sale on eBay by Robert Childerhouse who routinely carries out searches for items relating to influential Weeting figures.

He said the group had paid “in the hundreds” for the engraving, sold by a private Dereham individual.

“It’s such a rare thing to come across” he said. “It’s the most expensive item we’ve acquired so it will take pride of place and we’ve got aspirations for a heritage centre so if that happens it will go on display.”

The Hall family, which still owns the original painting from which the engraving was taken, bought Weeting Hall Estate as their family home and began to restore the mansion in 1897.

Thomas Skarratt Hall’s death in 1903 however meant his widow and three sons took up residence alone until 1917.

Mrs Hall later installed the east window in St Mary’s church in memory of her husband.