Record Details

NHER Number:2105
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of Thursford Castle, formerly Walsingham Union Workhouse and chapel


This workhouse and chapel was built by Thorold in 1837 and was later used as a smallpox hospital. The corners of the building had guard posts with rifle slits to stop peasants storming it in times of famine or to prevent them from attacking the builders. Only the chapel now survives.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 9670 3518
Map Sheet:TF93NE

Full description

Thursford Castle.
Workhouse, by Thorold, 1837, later smallpox hospital.

1977. NARG survey of chapel and sewage works.
Corners of building had guardposts with rifle slits to stop peasants storming it in times of famine. Alternatively to prevent them attacking the builders.
Information from S. Wade-Martins.

1980. Visit.
Only chapel and some fragments standing as shells like a Piranesi print. Owner prosecuted by council for failing to comply with demolition order. Remains of main building, cruciform inside polygonal outer ranges.
E. Rose (NAU), 1980.

June 1980.
Photographed by T. Gregory (NAU).

A fine stained glass window from the chapel was moved to St Botolph's church, Barford (NHER 9282), in 1961.
D. Gurney (HES), 9 February 2015.

Monument Types

  • HOSPITAL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WORKHOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF9635 A-F.
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Unpublished Document: NARG. Building Survey.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1976. Castle only in name a 'danger'. 22 April.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: Gregory, A.. 1980. Film BPB. Thursford Castle..
<S1>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1980. [Articles on the order to demolish Thursford Castle]. 27 February.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. Any offers for two run-down Victorian workhouses?. 25 August.
<S3>Unpublished Document: 1994. Bidwells Residential Thursford Castle.

Related records - none

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