Record Details

NHER Number:30472
Type of record:Monument
Name:Melton Constable Park


This is a landscape park, surrounding Melton Constable Hall (NHER 3241). The park and gardens are shown in detail in 'Britannia Illustrata' by Kip and Knyff in 1707. The formal gardens were extensive and complex, and included elements of an earlier formal landscape shown on an estate map of 1674. The late 17th century garden was designed around a series of enclosures filled with formal planting, elaborate parterres, an ornamental canal, fountains, a series of four large fish ponds, and garden buildings. The gardens were set within a deer park with a number of avenues. The western avenue was focused on a standing, or hunting tower, now known as the Bath House (NHER 3243). These formal gardens survived until the early 18th century, but they had disappeared by 1741. In 1764 Lancelot 'Capability' Brown was employed to carry out improvements to the park. Brown levelled much of the area around the hall, including two of the late 17th century fishponds to the north of the Hall. Brown also created the lake, planted perimeter belts, Gothicised the Bath House and provided designs for several other garden buildings. In the 1840s or 1850s a terraced Italianate garden was laid out around the Hall, with balustrades, steps and fountains.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 030 316
Map Sheet:TG03SW

Full description

Historic Parkland Grade II*, see (S1).
Originally medieval deer park, enclosed 1290.
No other details until Knyff and Kip's View of 1700, see (S2), show extensive formal layout.
Capability Brown worked from 1764 to 1769 possibly creating the lake which has an 18th century tea house on west side. Formal gardens made 1845 to 1850, now grassed over but yew hedges remain.
Information from (S1).
(S3) adds: deer park still existed in 1674. Brown may also have extended park to north. Other extensions in 19th century. Formal gardens existed in 1674, simplified 1720, removed by 1741. Lower fish ponds filled in during 18th century. Garden houses survived until 1810. Much of park now under plough.
E. Rose (NLA), 7 March 1994.

(S4) in file which disagrees in some respects with (S1).
E. Rose (NLA), 20 July 2000.

The revision of (S1) gives a totally different outline to the area protected.
E. Rose (NLA), 17 December 2002.

(S5) in file shows that the southeastern of the three fish ponds was still open and waterfilled around 1900, but (S6) shows there was another L-shaped pond here as well.
E. Rose (NLA), 27 October 2004.

Monument Types

  • DEER PARK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • AVENUE (LANDSCAPE FEATURE) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BALUSTRADE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FISHPOND (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FORMAL GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FOUNTAIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN BUILDING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ITALIAN GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • KITCHEN GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LANDSCAPE PARK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ORNAMENTAL CANAL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ORNAMENTAL LAKE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PARTERRE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TERRACED GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TREE BELT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • URN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALLED GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Registered Park or Garden
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Williamson, T.. 1998. Archaeology of the Landscape Park: Garden Design in Norfolk, England, c. 1680-1840.. BAR (British Series). Vol 268.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 615.
---Unpublished Document: Norfolk County Council. 1986. Melton Constable Park, Conservation Area: Interim Policy Guidelines..
---Photograph: Photographs of Melton Constable Park, Melton Constable. Colour.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England..
<S2>Publication: Kip and Knyff. 1707. Britannia Illustrata.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Norfolk County Council. [unknown]. Inventory of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Norfolk..
<S4>Unpublished Document: Bolton, A.. 2000. History and Archaeology of Melton Constable Estate.
<S5>Photograph: Unknown. c.1900. Unknown.
<S6>Map: Hunt, J.. 1674. Melton Constable (surviving as a copy of 1732).

Related records

44531Parent of: Church Lodge, Melton Constable Park (Building)
3245Parent of: Icehouse, Melton Constable Park (Monument)
30287Parent of: Medieval to post medieval earthworks in Melton Constable Park (Monument)
17712Parent of: Swanton Lodge and Gates, Melton Constable Park (Building)
3243Parent of: The Bath House (Building)
44532Parent of: The Teahouse, Melton Constable Park (Building)
3241Part of: Melton Constable Hall (Building)
MNO2627Related to: Melton Constable Hall Terraces MELTON CONSTABLE (Revoked)

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