Record Details

NHER Number:1053
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of Hales Hall


The remains of a late 15th century house built by James Hobart from 1478 onwards survive on the site of a medieval hall. The only upstanding remains of the Hall are the gatehouse range (NHER 60039) and the impressive brick barn (NHER 60040), which stand to the east of the moated site where the main house was constructed. The foundations of the late 15th century house and octagonal corner turrets are visible on the moated platform which is divided by an earthwork bank, probably a garden terrace. Roger de Hales almost certainly had a house here in the 12th century, which was associated with a deer park and a chapel dedicated to St Andrew. The distinctive curving boundary of the medieval deer park can still be traced on modern maps. There are several areas of earthworks in the vicinity of the Hall, particularly to the south and southeast of the barn. They are visible on aerial photographs and some have been the subject of detailed ground survey. They include a hollow way and several ditched enclosures, all probably of medieval date and possibly relating to an earlier hall. An area of possible ridge and furrow is visible to the northeast of the courtyard. Excavations have been carried out on the site of the Hall over a number of years, recovering prehistoric flints, Roman pottery and many medieval and post medieval finds.


  • Aerial photograph of the site of the late 15th century Hales Hall.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TM 3688 9606
Map Sheet:TM39NE

Full description

Hales Hall.
Moated site of hall rebuilt 1510 (scheduled).

A number of buildings survive in what was the outer court of the hall, all of which are now recorded seperately. These include the former gatehouse range (the present house; NHER 60039) and a barn to the south (NHER 60040), both of which date to the early 16th century and are now Listed Grade I. Other listed structures include a small barn (NHER 60041) and a boundary wall (NHER 60041).

See (S15) for descriptions of the house and barn with an accompanying photo, Plate 61.

April 1961. Excavation.
Trial excavation carried out by A.P. Baggs for Norfolk Research Committee. This excavation revealed a number a late medieval walls, but they were not extensive enough to interpret. During the excavation the large existing outer court was surveyed and recorded.
See (S1) for further details and (S18) for photographs. The results of this work are also summarised in (S13) and (S14).

Flint scraper found.

September to October 1978. Excavation.
Excavations by NRC and NARG.
Revealed the corner tower at the southeast corner of the inner moat, with spur walls running off to the south and west.
The results of this work are summarised in (S15) and (S16). See photograph (S19).

'Much pottery' discovered by the Hales Hall Trust (set up in 1980 to excavate the site).

18th and 19th century pottery found in flowerbeds by gatehouse and moat.

Roman and medieval sherds found.

1983. Excavation.
Four 17th century shoes, a wooden spoon and other finds.
See (S2) in file.

For full details see reports in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 1985.

1999. Earthwork Survey.
The 1982 survey of the site was re-examined and re-drawn with some minor amedments by B. Cushion.
See plan in file. This site was amongst those included in (S4) and the work is also noted in (S17).
P. Watkins (HES), 8 March 2017.

October 2005.
Excellent condition under mown grass. Parchmarks of tower seen in summer months and marked.
H. Paterson (A&E), 24 October 2005.

The surviving portions of the Hall date to the late 15th century, and were built by James Hobart who acquired the Hall in 1478. Only the gatehouse range and an impressive brick barn are still standing, and the rest of the house disappeared in the 19th century. The gatehouse range stands to the north of the site, and is built of brick with blue diapering. The range has restored wood mullion windows and leaded panes, octagonal brick chimney shafts. At the western end of the range is the gateway, which has a four centred brick archway with octagonal angle shafts, finials and crenallations. To the south the gateway has a timber-framed jettied gable. To the south of the gatehouse is the magnificent late 15th century brick barn, which has crowstepped gables and a wonderful roof with king-posts and queen-posts!

The Hall itself originally stood to the west of this courtyard, within a moat of which the northern and eastern arms are still waterfilled. The foundations of some walls are visible within the moat, as well as the foundations of two octagonal corner turrets at two corners of the moat. The moated platform is divided by an earthwork bank, possibly a garden terrace, and a further ditched enclosure has been surveyed extending from the moat to the west.

The present Hall is built on the site of an earlier medieval hall. Roger de Hales probably had a house on the site of the present Hall in the 12th century, and the house was probably associated with a deer park. (S5) notes that a park is recorded close to the Hall in the 13th century, and the distinctive curving outline of the park boundary is still visible on modern maps. The parish boundary of Loddon, which is also the Hundred Boundary, follows the park boundary, suggesting that the park was in existence before 1180 when most parish boundaries became fixed. There are also several references in the late 12th and 13th centuries to a chapel dedicated to St Andrew within the park, which was probably the chapel at Hales Hall.

There are several earthworks to the south and southeast of the barn. These include a hollow way and several ditched enclosures, probably all dating to the medieval period, and possibly related to an earlier Hall.

See (S5) for more details.
S. Spooner (NLA) 18 May 2006

July 2007. Norfolk NMP.
Some of the earthworks described above are visible on aerial photographs (S6)-(S11), centred at TM 3689 9607. The most complex area of earthworks – the enclosures and possible platforms to the southeast of the barn – are clearly visible on the plan published by Cushion and Davison (S4), but additional elements, levelled in the 1980s (see (S10)) are visible to the west of those surveyed, in the area of the modern nursery. The pit at TM 3690 9595 has a relatively modern appearance and may be a quarry or extraction pit.

Across the entire area of the site, previously unmapped earthworks are evident on the aerial photographs, while others, which have been recorded on the ground, could not be identified or are obscured by vegetation. To the west of the moated plaform is a possible second hollow way or enclosing ditch (between TM 3670 9614 and TM 3664 9601). To its north, around TM 3688 9622, a series of parallel linear ditches, visible in 1945, are almost certainly those mentioned by Cushion and Davison (S4); they may represent drainage features. In the northeast corner of the site (at TM 3703 9611), is an area of possible ridge and furrow. The ridges are wide enough to be of medieval date, but the vegetation marks or low earthworks are only visible on one set of aerial photographs (S10) and may be of modern agricultural origin.

Overall little can be added to the interpretation of the site, but the information from the aerial photographs adds to the known plan of this complex site.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 30 July 2007.

February 2011.
Section 17 agreement for part of the moat renewed.
See (S12).
D. Robertson (HES), 14 March 2011.

Monument Types

  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • HOLLOW WAY (Unknown date)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUILDING PLATFORM? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GARDEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOLLOW WAY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RIDGE AND FURROW? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOFT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOWER (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WATERCOURSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • EXTRACTIVE PIT (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD? to 2100 AD?)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BOTTLE (Unknown date)
  • PIN (Unknown date)
  • PLANT REMAINS (Undated)
  • TEXTILE (Unknown date)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW GLASS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SHOE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SPOON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy, B. 1961. Some Norfolk Halls. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXII pp 163-208. pp 180-181.
---Aerial Photograph: TM3696 C-AB,AD-AH,AJ-AP,AQ-AT.
---Publication: Corbishley, M.. 1982. AM107. 2.
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF281.
---Serial: Blomefield, F.. 1805-1810. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk.. Volume Unknown.
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Unpublished Document: H. Paterson (A&E), MPP. Section 17 Management Agreement.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TM 39 NE 6 [5].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Unpublished Document: Barringer, C.. 1978. Notes on Hales Hall, Loddon.
---Photograph: 1960. CM 1043.
---Photograph: G 5548.
---Photograph: NK 2041.
---Photograph: NK 2035.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 376-378; Pl 61.
---Article in Serial: 1983. Hales Hall Archaeological Trust - 1982 season. CBA Group VI Bulletin. No 28 pp 28-29.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Loddon.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Baggs, A.P.. 1961. Report on the Excavations at Hales Hall, Loddon, 8-16 April 1961.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1980-1983. [Articles on the excavations at Hales Hall].
<S4>Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 104. pp 106-107; Fig 70.
<S5>Monograph: Davison, A.. 1990. The Evolution of Settlement in Three Parishes in South-East Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 49.
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/930 3073-4 16-OCT-1945 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1967. OS/67068 007-8 26-APR-1967 (NMR).
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1967. CUCAP (ARD1) 06-MAY-1967.
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1971. OS/71302 90-1 29-JUN-1971 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1988. BKS 8777-8 06-AUG-1988 (NCC 1965-6).
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1995. OS/95161 158-9 19-MAY-1995 (NMR).
<S12>Unpublished Document: Norfolk County Council. 2010-2011. Norfolk Monuments Management Project Section 17 agreement.
<S13>Article in Serial: Wilson, D. M. and Hurst, D. G. 1964. Medieval Britain in 1961. Medieval Archaeology. Vol VI-VII (for 1962 and 1963) pp 306-349. p 333.
<S14>Article in Serial: 1963. Archaeological Discoveries in Norfolk, 1961. Norfolk Research Committee Bulletin. Series 1 No 14 (for 1961 and 1962) pp 1-3. p 2.
<S15>Article in Serial: Cornford, B. 1978. Norfolk Research Committee. CBA Group VI Bulletin. No 24 p 18.
<S16>Article in Serial: Fenner, A. 1979. Norfolk Research Committee. CBA Group VI Bulletin. No 25 pp 6-7.
<S17>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2000. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1999. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt III pp 521-543. p 529.
<S18>Photograph: Green, B. 1961. Photographs of excavations at the site of Hales Hall, NHER 1053, in 1961. Digital. jpeg.
<S19>Photograph: Read, T. 1978. Photograph of excavations at the site of Hales Hall, NHER 1053, in 1978. Digital. jpeg.

Related records

60040Parent of: Barn south of Hales Hall (Building)
60039Parent of: Hales Hall (Building)
16856Parent of: Site of medieval to post medieval settlement and kiln (Monument)
60041Parent of: 'The Bothy', Hales Hall (Building)
60042Parent of: Wall immediately south-east of Hales Hall (Monument)
13496Related to: Medieval park boundary, settlement and brick kiln (Monument)

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