Record Details

NHER Number:20134
Type of record:Building
Name:Shell House, a folly in Merton Park


The Shell House is a small 19th century brick building with stepped gables and a tile roof. The main point of interest in the building is that internally the walls are completely covered with sea shells. Many of the shells came from a shell grotto at Fawley in Hampshire.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 9078 9765
Map Sheet:TL99NW

Full description

Small brick building with stepped gables, 19th century.
Outwardly unremarkable but internally covered with shells arranged on the wall faces.
Recommended for addition to listed buildings list (S1). Information from [1].
E. Rose (NAU), 12 March 1984.

April 1986. Listed, Grade II.
Described as about 1846 by Edward Blore. Brick, stone dressings. Interior entirely faced with seashells. Tile roof. Tudor style. Single storey, clasping polygonal buttresses to each angle surmounted by stone pepperpots. Crowstep gables with pepperpots at apex. Four centred entrance arch in gable wall. Ovolo moulded windows each side and above. Five similar blank arches on one side wall; other wall has two Gothic windows and oculi. Dentilled cornices. Rear gable with timber oriel. Crenellated parapet and pediments on the Gothic windows. Mosaic floor.
Information from (S1).
E. Rose (NAU), 21 July 1986.

See notes (S2) in file by [2], which add that the buildings were damaged by soldiers billetted in a nearby camp in World War Two.
E. Rose (NLA), 9 February 1996.

Copy of (S3) in file for NHER 8956 states that the shells came from an earlier similar building at Fawley, Hampshire, and that there was once a shell model of Merton church (NHER 8945) inside.
E. Rose (NLA), 31 January 2005.

Monument Types

  • FOLLY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 539.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Listing Notification. Notification. DNF1997.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1076781.
<S2>Unpublished Document: 1992. A Note for Visitors to the Shellhouse at Merton Hall.
<S3>Article in Serial: Garnier, R.. 2004. Merton Hall.. Georgian Group Journal. Vol XIV, pp 131-166. pp 154-155.

Related records

30516Part of: Merton Park (Monument)

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