Record Details

NHER Number:5243
Type of record:Building
Name:How Hill House


A perfectly sited Jacobean style Edwardian house overlooking the River Ant and stretches of Reedham marshes. It was designed and built in 1903 by the architect Edward Boardman, initially as a holiday home. The house is two and a half storeys high, of roughcast brick with irregularly placed leaded windows and a roof of decorated thatch. A sun parlour was added to the west of the house in 1910. By 1916, the whole house had been extended, moving the sun parlour with it, and a large bow ended drawing room built as a single storey wing projecting south. A third decorated chimney stack was also added, matching the two existing ones. Inside there is plenty of panelling, a big staircase to the rear and moulded chimney pieces. As the building was being altered and extended, Boardman planted 70,000 trees on the estate and set out the formal gardens to the south and west. In 1918, the house became the family's main residence, and in 1966, sixteen years after Boardman's death, it was sold to the County Council and is now a residential education centre.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 3725 1905
Map Sheet:TG31NE

Full description

(Norfolk Education Committee). Remarkable Victorian house in Jacobean style with decorated thatched roof, strapwork balustrades, carved window surrounds, decorated chimneys. At rear large bell under gable. Thatched extension under construction.
Seen by E. Rose (NAU) 23 August 1975.

The house is in fact of 1903.

(S1) says there is a legend of a dragon asleep in the hill; is this derived from the carving on St Benet's Abbey? He says the name was originally Haugh Hill, but in 1899 it was How Hill.
E. Rose (NAU).

Built for the architect Boardman for himself.

More likely that legend inspired carving; common Saxon legend of dragon inside burial mound, cf name of hill; probably mistaken for such a mound.
E. Rose (NAU).

Extensions were made to the house in 1915. See (S4).
E. Rose (NAU),1 August 1988.

Press cuttings (S2) to (S6) in file. Listed Grade II (S7).

6 July 1994. NLA air photography.
House and gardens visible.
M. Brennand (NLA), 13 March 2001.

(S8) is feature to celebrate 100th birthday of How Hill house. The house was built in 1904 and extended in 1918 when it became the main Boardman family home. In 1966, part of the How Hill estate comprising 360 acres was acquired by the Norfolk County Council education committee for £37,000. In 1983, the education centre closed and How Hill was sold to Norwich Union, who then leased it to the newly formed How Hill Trust.
A. Yardy (HES), 24 August 2011.

Monument Types

  • SITE (placename, Unknown date)
  • HOUSE (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1903 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. TG3719/A, B, E.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 603-604; Pl 112.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2002. Future of How Hill is placed in trust's hands. 21 June.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Monograph: Bryant, J.. 1900. Norfolk Churches..
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. Opening How Hill as a Centre for Everyone. 23 August.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1985. The birth of How Hill. 22 March.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1986. How Hill - heart of old Broadland. 10 March.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988. Fascinating story of a memorable house. 29 July.
<S6>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1995. How Hill, a taste of paradise. 20 May.
<S7>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England.
<S8>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2004. Hill haven's ton of delight. 2 July.

Related records - none

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