Record Details

NHER Number:30516
Type of record:Monument
Name:Merton Park


The post medieval landscape park surrounding Merton Hall (NHER 8956). The park was established by the early 18th century and was expanded during the late 18th century when woodland and an ornamental nursery were established. In 1757 the Great Pond was created by uniting existing fishponds. The park was altered in 19th century, with new features added including a kitchen garden, plantations, a folly (NHER 20134), two lodges, an iron bridge (NHER 13112) and an ornamental dairy (NHER 45354). During the 20th century the park was reduced in size.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 907 976
Map Sheet:TL99NW

Full description

Historic Parkland on NCC Inventory of Park (S1), but not included in Historic Building Monuments Commission Register of Historic Parks and Gardens (S2).Merton park is situated around Merton Hall (NHER 8956). The first evidence for the park comes from an estate map of 1733 (see (S1) for more details) which shows the park to be about 25 hectares. A linear arrangement of fish ponds can also be seen to the east of the house. In 1757 the great pond was formed and by the time of the 1791 estate map (see (S1) for more details) the remaining earlier ponds seem to have been replaced by a number of less formal ponds. The 1791 map also shows a kitchen garden lying next to the pond. The Road Orders of 1790 and 1793 (See (S1) for more details) formalised the diversion of the Watton to Thetford road which had been rerouted away from the parkland allowing the park to extend westwards. During this period trees were also planted throughout the estate, this included the planting of an avenue to the north of the house.
The enclosure act of 1817 allowed the parkland to be extended into the former Thompson Common, and a long driveway was created from the south. At some point between (S5) and (S4) the Kitchen Garden was removed from its original position and relocated outside the park.
A nineteenth century shell folly (NHER 20134) and a nineteenth century Iron Bridge (NHER 13112) are also visible within the park. An ornamental dairy (NHER 45354) and lodges (NHER 44546 and 44537) were also added in the nineteenth century. By (S4) an asymmetrical area of planting had been implemented. During the 20th century the parkland decreased in size reverting back to the size illustrated on the 1791 estate map.
For more information see (S1) and (S2). Also see (S3) and (S4) for more details.
E. Rose (NLA), 22 March 1994 and 31 January 2005.
Updated by E.Nicholl (UEA), updated by 14 November 2011

Monument Types

  • DAIRY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GATE LODGE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • KITCHEN GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ORNAMENTAL POND (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PARK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SHELL HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TREE AVENUE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Unpublished Document: Norfolk County Council. [unknown]. Inventory of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Norfolk..
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England..
<S3>Article in Serial: Garnier, R.. 2004. Merton Hall.. Georgian Group Journal. Vol XIV, pp 131-166. pp 151-155.
<S4>Map: Ordnance Survey, First Edition, 6 Inch. 1879-1886. Ordnance Survey 1st Edition 6 inch map..
<S5>Map: 1837-8. Merton Tithe Map, 1837-8.
<S6>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S7>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. Ordnance Survey Map. 25 inch to the mile. Second Edition. 1:2500.

Related records

44537Parent of: Cuckoo Cottage (Building)
18087Parent of: Earthworks of medieval/post medieval hollow way and park pale (Monument)
20134Parent of: Shell House, a folly in Merton Park (Building)
13112Parent of: Site of a 19th century iron bridge in Merton Park (Monument)
44546Parent of: The Lodge (Building)
45354Parent of: The Old Buttery (Building)
18088Parent of: Undated ditch in Merton Wood (Monument)
8956Part of: Merton Hall (Building)

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