Record Details

NHER Number:56858
Type of record:Building
Name:Abbey House, Walsingham


Abbey House was built by Henry Lee-Warner, probably in the 1720s incorporating some of the structure of St Mary's Priory (NHER 2029), with the formal garden using the Priory church as its centrepiece. The house was altered and extended in c 1806 by Daniel Henry Lee-Warner with design by John Haverfield, and a Gothic bay was added in 1842 by Daniel Henry Lee-Warner 2nd.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 9349 3671
Map Sheet:TF93NW

Full description

Abbey House, Walsingham.

Originally a Queen Anne building of six bays and three storeys. Rebuilt in the late 18th century as a five bay house with central three bays slightly projecting. 19th century Gothic Revival wing added above undercroft (Information from S3 and S4).

The house was built by Henry Lee-Warner, probably in the 1720s; a brick house with stone dressings incorporating some of the structure of the medieval priory. The first depiction of the house is an engraving from 1738 which shows a formal garden using the Priory church as its centrepiece. The house was altered and extended in c 1806 by Daniel Henry Lee-Warner with design by John Haverfield, and a Gothic bay added in 1842 by Daniel Henry Lee-Warner 2nd (as a music room).

The house was sold to the Gurney family in 1921, who carried out required repairs and improvements, commissioning Edward Boardman and Sons to carry out alterations. The current façade is covered with a cement render with a low pitched hipped slate roof with a pediment, cornice, parapet and angle pilasters, Georgian and Venetian windows. The south wing is set back. The house is visible on a variety of 18th and 19th century maps and illustrations (S5-S14).

This house was originally recorded under NHER 2029.
K. Powell (HES), 20 March 2012

November 1951. Listed. Grade I.
Listing Description:
Part of the medieval Priory remains are incorporated into this mansion. As it stands it is the 1806 rebuilding of a brick house with stone dressings of 1720. The present 1806 facade is ashlar with low-pitched hipped slate roof, pediment, cornice, parapet and angle pilasters; 3 storeys. 1:3:1 bays, centre 3 bays with large pediment containing coat of arms. All sashes with glazing bars. Right and left ground and 1st floors Venetian windows. Central porch with columns and entablature. Left hand (south) wing set back: 2 storeys and blind attic in parapet; irregular fenestration, sashes some blocked; doorway with columns and entablature. Good complete rooms and stairwell with lantern of 1806. Music room of circa 1846.
Information from (S15).
H. Hamilton (HES), 06 november 2015.

July 1981. Inside the Abbey House.
Medieval masonry including a door and original roof timbers with painted beams. These must be part of a monastic building encased within the more recent house. Foundations of a medieval precinct wall running southeast from medieval foundations of Knight's gate towards the bridge suggest the bridge is really the base of the wall carried over the river on arches.
Information from J. Denny (North Norfolk District Council).

(S1) states that two candlesticks from the priory were given to the Holy House at St Mary's Roman Catholic church, King's Lynn in 1897. It may mean two candlesticks from Abbey House.
Information from [1].
E. Rose (NLA), 16 May 1997.

26 August 1997. NLA air photography.
Remains of St Mary's Priory, Abbey House and park all visible.
H. Clare (NLA), 29 Mar 2001.

Monument Types

  • GREAT HOUSE (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 595.
<S1>Monograph: Baxter, D.. 1934. Walsingham: England's National Sanctuary of our Blessed Lady. Revised Edition..
<S2>Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Historic Landscape Management. 2008. Walsingham Abbey Grounds. Landscape Conservation Strategy. Historic Landscape Management.
<S4>Publication: Edward Lee Warner. 1901. The Life of John Warner, Bishop of Rochester 1637-1666. pp 83.
<S5>Illustration: Roth, C.. 1791. View of the East Front Abbey House.
<S6>Map: Unattributed. 1800-1845. Plans of Walsingham Abbey Grounds and Park.
<S7>Illustration: Frederick Wallen. 1868. Gothic plans to alter the house by Frederick Wallen.
<S8>Map: c1790. A plan of Walsingham Abbey and the closes adjoining belonging to Lee Warner Esq.
<S9>Illustration: Rix, W. L.. 1793. The Abbey House seen from the East.
<S10>Illustration: Unattributed. 1736. Abbey Garden.
<S11>Illustration: Buck, S. & N.. 1738. The East View of Walsingham Priory in the County of Norfolk.
<S12>Illustration: Unattributed. c1720. Plan of House and elevation shewing unexecuted wings.
<S13>Map: Edward Boardman. 1921. Walsingham Abbey Alterations for Sir Eustace Gurney.
<S14>Illustration: Cotman, J. C.. 1819. View of Abbey House across the new Lake.
<S15>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1039369.

Related records

56859Related to: Abbey House Park, Walsingham (Monument)
Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2020 Norfolk Historic Environment Service