Record Details

NHER Number:2775
Type of record:Building
Name:Letton Hall


A Neoclassical country house designed in the 1780s by Sir John Soane, his first private house. Soane also designed the walled gardens and the service courtyard. The hall was substantially altered in the 19th century, and new formal gardens were laid out in 1882. The stables and garden buildings date from the late 19th century.


  • Letton Hall, Cranworth in 1781  © Norfolk County Council


Grid Reference:TF 9708 0592
Map Sheet:TF90NE

Full description

An important country house designed by Sir John Soane in 1783 to 1789, his first private house.
Brick with stone dressings and slate roof.
Main block is square, 3 bays and 3 storeys, with basement, originally with lower services to the west.
The entrance façade was altered in the 19th century by replacing the porch and extending the library.
Deep central porch with Doric columns.
Above the 1st floor balustrade, the arch of Soane's recessed central bay is just visible.
19th century extension on the east façade with a large Venetian window which formerly led to a conservatory.
The services are now around a courtyard to the west.
Interior has a fine hall staircase, and original plasterwork and chimney pieces in several rooms.
The walled gardens are probably by Soane.
Stables are of about 1880, three sides are attached to the 18th centruy walled garden. Giant pilasters and open pediment, with single storeyed side wings.
Thatched garden house with stained glass windows to north of hall is dated 1882, when Edward Boardman designed a new formal garden layout.
See (S1), (S2) and (S3) for further listing details.

1970s or 80s. Alan Carter Norwich Survey.
See (S4), which includes (S5).
T.E. Miller (NLA), 19 April 2006.

(S6) notes that Soane designed a number of houses in East Anglia during the 1780s, a period when his mature and refined Neoclassical style was developing. Letton was the first country house designed by Soane, and the outbuildings are an early example of the axial arrangement he later used at other country houses.
See (S6).

The Hall is now used as a Christian conference centre.
S. Spooner (NLA) September 2005.

Hall is grade II*, walled garden and garden house are each grade II.
E. Rose (NLA), 11 July 2005.

Soane largely reused bricks from the earlier demolished building.
Information from (S7).
E. Rose (NLA), April 2008.

Publication (S8).
D. Gurney (HES), 20 December 2011.

Monument Types

  • GARDEN HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LIVERY STABLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF9705 L,M,AC-AM,AQ-AT.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1978-1979. [Articles on the sale of Letton Hall].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. Gratitude for Hall aid. 8 July.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TF9705/AU - AX.
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF 9605U.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 90 NE 6 [3].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 244; Pl 62.
---Photograph: Photograph of Letton Hall gazebo before repair, Letton Hall, Cranworth. Black & white.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1077342.
<S2>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1305322.
<S3>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1342541.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Carter, A.. Building Survey.
<S5>Illustration: Page, I.. 1781. Drawing.
<S6>Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 516-517.
<S7>*Verbal Communication: Wilson, R.. 2008. Lecture by Richard Wilson at UEA..
<S8>Publication: Carroll, P. 2011. Lives & Loves of Letton Hall, Norfolk. The Biography of Sir John Soane's First House..

Related records

30515Parent of: Letton Park (Monument)

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