Record Details

NHER Number:51749
Type of record:Landscape
Name:Formal Gardens, Felbrigg Hall


The Formal Gardens at Felbrigg Hall (NHER 6633) lie principally to the west and north of the Hall, and were begun in the 17th century. The Parlour Garden, or Green House Garden, is located to the west of the Hall and comprises lawns bordered by gravel paths and a ha-ha. The Orangery (NHER 51744) was built during the 18th century when the gardens were extended. The American Garden, believed to have been laid out in 1865, is a series of walks through exotic trees and shrubs. A small 20th- century garden comprising box-edged beds filled with roses is located on the south front of the east wing.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 19302 39420
Map Sheet:TG13NE

Full description

The Windham (or Wyndham) family acquired the manor of Felbrigg during the fifteenth century. William Windham I was responsible for extending the woodland planting and developing a geometric landscape around the Hall before he died in 1689. In the early years of the 18th century the Orangery (NHER 51744) was built and further planting in the grounds and the woods was undertaken. In 1749, William Windham II began to dismantle the formal landscape and the Hall was remodelled. The landscape continued to evolve under the direction of Nathaniel Kent, and during the 1770s and 1780s new plantations were made, a lake created, a new kitchen garden built, and an icehouse constructed. Some of these alterations may have been directed by Humphry Repton, as Repton made a drawing of the park in 1793 and advised on minor architectural matters.
The gardens lie principally to the west and north of the Hall and cover about 2 acres in total. To the west is a lawn bordered by gravel walks with a ha-ha to the south and west. The Orangery stands on the north side of the lawn. In the mid-17th century the west lawn was known as the Parlour Garden but it was enlarged in the 18th century to become the Green House Garden. The formal lawns and borders remained throughout the 19th century but were much simplified in the 20th century. To the north of the Hall is the American Garden, comprising a series of walks through a collection of exotic trees, shrubs and conifers. It is thought to have been designed in 1865. On the south front of the east wing is a small garden of box-edged beds filled with roses, which was laid out in the mid- 20th century.
Information taken from (S1) and (S2).
H. White (NLA), 22 February 2010.

February 2010.
Felbrigg is a garden of two halves; the West Garden is laid out in the style of a typical Victorian pleasure ground, arranged around the 18th-century Orangery. The garden includes a shrubbery, many specimen trees, a Garden Meadow and a Walled Garden. The Walled Garden has double borders of mixed shrubs, an herbaceous border, a Hot Border and a Ribbon Border. The Kitchen Garden (NHER 51748) is laid out around a pond and divided into four potagers, with herb borders planted to each side of the 18th-century dovecote. The New Orchard is planted with varieties of fruit that were known to have been grown in the garden during the 19th century, including apples, pears, cherries, peaches, apricots and figs.
See (S3) for further details.
H. White (NLA), 22 February 2010.

August-September 2014. Watching Brief.
Groundworks for installation of a new sewerage treatment unit were monitored.
No archaeological features were observed during the installation, but the stratigraphy indicated that natural sand had previously been moved into this area in order to level the ground surface. This material could quite possibly have been excavated from the ha-ha that surrounds the lawn immediately to the east of the groundworks. The dumped sand sealed an earlier topsoil layer that contained a post-medieval brick. It has been suggested that this building rubble may have come from the demolition of a range of buildings that once stood at the south-western edge of the garden. These buildings are depicted on an undated map (S4) in the care of the National Trust and include stables, a barn, and a coach house. It is believed that the map likely dates to the late 18th or early 19th century.
The only finds collected during these works were three sherds of 16th to 19th century pottery and one incomplete post-medieval handmade brick.
See report (S5) for further information.
The archive associated with this work has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.266).
H. Hamilton (HES), 30 June 2015. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 19 May 2019.

Monument Types

  • BURIED LAND SURFACE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • HA HA (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FORMAL GARDEN (17th Century to 21st Century - 1700 AD? to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (15th Century to 18th Century - 1500 AD to 1799 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Registered Park or Garden

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 466.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF545.
<S1>Website: 2010.,com_parksandgardens/task,site/id,1312/tab,history/Itemid,292/.
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.. 1000185.
<S3>Website: 2010.
<S4>Map: [Unknown]. [unknown]. A Plan of the Mansion House, Offices, Yards, Gardens &c..
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Hickling, S. 2015. Archaeological Watching Brief at the New Sewerage Treatment Unit, Felbrigg Hall, Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk. NPS Archaeology. 2014/1046.

Related records

6633Part of: Felbrigg Hall (Building)
51744Related to: Orangery at Felbrigg Hall (Building)
51748Related to: Walled kitchen garden and dovecote, Felbrigg Hall (Monument)
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