Record Details

NHER Number:28356
Type of record:Monument
Name:Former site of Beeston Hall and possible post medieval garden features


The 17th to 18th century predecessor of Beeston Hall (NHER 8288) is believed to have stood at this approximate location. Cropmarks of a layout of rectilinear trenches and/or pits may mark the former location of the hall or associated buildings which have since been robbed out. Alternatively, and more probably, they represent a garden layout connected with the former hall.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 3332 2125
Map Sheet:TG32SW

Full description

Site of Hall (TG 3320 2125) believed to be medieval by (S1), mentioned as existing in 1640; alterations probably made in 17th century.
Earliest illustrations show a Gothick façade added in the early 1770s, but the hall was abandoned in 1785 in favour of the new site (NHER 8288). Many fittings removed to new hall.
Copy of (S1) in NHER 8288 file.
E. Rose (NLA) 13 September 1991.

19 June 1996, NLA air photography.
Cropmarks visible in Beeston Park to the immediate east of the national grid reference for the Old Hall location. The site consists of a series of rectangular enclosures, displaying internal features, such as subdividing linears and rectangular and square sunken areas. The enclosures form a chain of blocks aligned east to west and they would have been positioned at the back of the Old Hall (if the grid reference is correct). The marks are positive, implying cut features. This would suggest that these do not relate to buildings, such as service ranges or stables. Unless the foundations were completely removed when the hall and its buildings were re-located. This could have left a cavity and would therefore produce a positive cropmark.

Another possibility, and the more likely of the two, is that these cropmarks relate to formal garden layouts positioned along the vista from the back of the hall. The cropmarks may be showing the trenches dug for hedgelines and bedding areas. This hypothesis may be backed up by the cropmarks situated to the north of these; an area of clustered, rounded positive anomalies. These are likely to relate to tree removal or possibly to pits dug during the damming of the lake. The lake appears to post-date both features, in particular the possible garden layout. The stream was dammed in the late 18th century.
S. Massey (NLA), 22 August 2001.

8 July 1996. NLA air photography.
Cropmarks previously recorded visible (although quite faint).
H. Clare (NLA), 26 October 2001.

June 2007. Norfolk NMP.
The post medieval robber cuts or garden features described above are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs (S2)-(S4), between TG 3325 2124 and TG 3347 2127. They comprise a rectilinear arrangement of rectilinear pits and trenches, with narrower ditches (or just fainter marks) faintly visible on the fringes, principally to the south and west. Their interpretation as garden features, representing a formal planting scheme associated with the earlier post medieval hall, seems the most plausible. Fainter marks not mapped by the NMP may indicate an earlier layout. It is notable that the garden features appear to be truncated on their west side by the 19th century ha-ha depicted on historic Ordnance Survey maps (e.g. the 2nd edition 25 inch (S6)). To their northeast, a cluster of amorphous pit-like features (not mapped by the NMP) may represent extraction, perhaps associated with the construction of the hall and/or garden.

The new monument polygon incorporates the grid reference originally given for the hall.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 7 June 2007.

Monument Types

  • GREAT HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUILDING? (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN FEATURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROBBER TRENCH? (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • STRUCTURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 3321L-S.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 3321T-X, Y-Z.
<S1>Article in serial: Haslam, R.. February 198. Beeston Hall, Norfolk.. Country Life. p 270ff.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 2071-2 09-JUL-1946 (NHER TG 3321B, TG 3221C).
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 3321D (NLA 362/JDV10) 19-JUN-1996.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 3321L-P (NLA 362/JDV9-12) 19-JUN-1996.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 3321T-X (NLA 368/JCR12-16) 08-JUL-1996.
<S6>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-7. Ordnance Survey second edition 25 inch (1902-7) Sheet XL.15.

Related records - none

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