Record Details

NHER Number:604
Type of record:Building
Name:Wensum Lodge or The Music House, Nos 167 and 169 King Street


Wensum Lodge, also known as Music House, is a 12th century house that has long been associated with a prominent member of the Jewish community in Norwich, Jurnet the Jew. In fact, it was his son Isaac who bought the property in 1225 from John Curry. This is the only secular 12th century building to survive in Norwich. The King Street façade largely dates to the 17th century, but the left gable conceals the remains of a private house of the early 12th century arranged at right angles to the street. In the 12th century a further north to south range was added where the current 17th century street front stands. To the left lies a 12th century undercroft which would have been at street level when first constructed. Of the upper hall we know little, apart from the fact that it existed. In the late 15th century it was raised in height, and given its present scissor-braced roof and fireplace. In around 1175 a north to south range was built, consisting of a single aisled hall, but the aisle of the hall was removed in 1480 and a further brick undercroft was built. The hall itself was largely removed by the construction of a 17th century block. During the 18th century the house was subdivided into tenements, and since the 1960s it has been converted into an adult education and sports centre by Norfolk County Council.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 23635 08040
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

12th century house, associated with a jewish family, with later additions.
Compiled by R. R. Clarke (NCM).

1980. Norwich Survey. Wensum Lodge, formerly known as the Music House. North wing original (mid 12th century?) build. Street range second building phase (possibly around 1180). Modified in 14th and 15th centuries. 17th century additions to east.
See (S1).
See also (S6).
T. E. Miller (NLA), 31 March 2004.

Former house now educational institute. 12th century onwards. Flint, brick, pantile roofs. King Street façade: Two storey with three storey end gable-ends. Interior: 12th century stone built undercroft beneath the left-side gable width which represents the extent of the original house. The undercroft has two compartments with a connecting door.
Remains of a spiral stair in the northeast corner.
Details from (S2).
Compiled by O. Beazley (NAU).

Detailed description [1] in file and mention of vaulting in (S3).
Compiled by E. Rose (NLA), 14 July 1997.

Regarding Clarke's comment, the building was not owned by a Jewish family until a later date than its construction. A second undercroft is of 15th century brick but contains one pillar base indicating a former single-aisled hall; the base is very similar to the columns of the cathedral infirmary.
See file and (S4).
E. Rose (NLA), 19 April 1999.

The standing building dates to the early and late 12th century. The earliest known owner is John Curry before 1225.
See (S7) for further details.
S. Howard (NLA), 13 January 2010.

August 2004. NAU field observation on a leaking 15th century window in southern cell, west wall, of undercroft.
An architecturally significant feature of the medieval vaulted cellar was recorded.
See (S5) for further details.
See also (S8).
J. Allen (NLA), 20 September 2006.

For a comprehensive history of the building, including photographs and plans, see (S6)
H. White (NLA), 14 May 2009.

Monument Types

  • HOUSE (Medieval to Modern - 1100 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • UNDERCROFT (Medieval to Modern - 1100 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • SINGLE AISLED BUILDING (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1175 AD? to 1600 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in serial: Kent, E. A. 1942. Isaac's Hall or the Music House, Norwich. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXVIII Pt I pp 31-38.
---Article in monograph: Ayers, B.. 2002. Recent Archaeological Research into Secular Romanesque Buildings in Norfolk.. The Medieval House in Normandy and England.. Bates, D. & Curry, A.. pp 69-76.
---Article in serial: Hearn, M. and Thurlby, M. 1997. Previously Undetected Wooden Ribbed Vaults in Medieval Britain. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. Vol CL pp 48-58. p 56.
---Publication: Lipman, V. D. 1967. The Jews of Medieval Norwich.
---Article in serial: W. Buston. 1942. The Norman house in Norwich and the "Music House". Country Life. 21 August, p1.
---Article in serial: Carter, A. 1980. The Music House and Wensum Lodge, King Street, Norwich. Archaeological Journal. Vol 137 pp 310-312.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Unpublished document: Carter, A.. Building Survey.
<S2>Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
<S3>Thesis: Smith, R. 1990. An Architectural History of Norwich Buildings, c. 1200 - 1700. Unpublished Thesis. p 410.
<S4>Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1962. The Buildings of England: North East Norfolk and Norwich.
<S5>Unpublished document: Moss, N.. 2004. NAU Report No. 992. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Music House, King Street, Norwich..
<S6>Article in serial: Carter, A.. antiquity. The Music House and Wensum Lodge, King Street, Norwich: Report of the Summer Meeting of the Royal Archaeological Institute at Norwich in 1979.. The Archaeological Journal. Vol 137, pp 310-12.
<S6>Monograph: Dent, J.I. & Livock, J.S.. 1990. Wensum Lodge: The Story of a House. From the Twelfth Century to the Twentieth Century..
<S7>Article in monograph: Rutledge, E.. 2002. The Early Stone House in Norwich: The Documentary Evidence.. The Medieval House in Normandy and England.. Ayers, B. & Pitte, D..
<S8>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2005. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2004. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt IV pp 751-763. p 758.

Related records

MNO9425Related to: Nos. 167 & 169 (Wensum Lodge - formerly Music House) King Street NORWICH (Revoked)

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