Record Details

NHER Number:56859
Type of record:Monument
Name:Abbey House Park, Walsingham


The park was mostly established by Daniel Henry Lee Warner in the early 1800s,employing John Haverfield as landscape gardener and architect. The landscape included a lake, a sunken road dividing the gardens from the less formal parkland, a walled garden, numerous plantations and features such as bridges and lodges.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 9370 3613
Map Sheet:TF93NW

Full description

19th century park. (S2) suggests the area was already in the process of being embellished. The park was mostly established by Daniel Henry Lee Warner in the early 1800s. Lee warner employed John Haverfield as landscape gardener and architect and he is mainly responsible for the design of the landscape.

A road diversion order of 1805 formalised the creation of a Sunken road from which the park was entered and a new route for the Thursford Road including the moving of the Pack Horse Bridge (NHER 56860) northwards. The enclosure map shows that these were in place by 1812 along with a lodge at the northern end of the Sunk Road. This allowed creation of a lake by damming the River Stiffkey (NHER 56864) and a carriage drive over the Stiffkey Bridge (NHER 56862). The park was laid out by the time Bryants map was published in 1826, including the walled garden and gardeners cottage, plantations, footbridges, lodges and an icehouse. A map of the estate was drawn up in 1836 showing these features and the park is mentioned in (S3) and (S4). The park is shown at its fullest extent on the 1891 Ordnance map (S5).

The lake disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century and the ice house was partly demolished in 1927. After World War Two parts of the outlying parkland was returned to arable and the grounds were opened to the public more often.

The current extent of the park is c. 52 ha although part is now given over to agricultural use. In some fields small numbers of parkland trees survive. Close to Abbey House the park reflects 19th century developments of the landscape into a 'naturalistic' park. Woodland walks extend out towards the edges of the park, famous for their snowdrops. The lake area has retreated back to wet grassland and been planted with poplars. A second entrance at the southern tip of the park is now only used for farm access. The early 19th century walled kitchen garden still stands in the middle of the park and is screened from the Abbey by the ornamental Garden Plantation. A small area close to Abbey House is retained as a private garden although the park has been open to the public since the 1920s.
Information from (S1, S6, S7 and S8). The park is visible on S9 and S10.
K. Powell (HES), 22 March 2012.

26 August 1997. NLA air photography.
Remains of St Mary's Priory, Abbey House and park all visible.
H. Clare (NLA), 29 Mar 2001.

Monument Types

  • WELL (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)
  • FOOTBRIDGE (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • FORMAL GARDEN (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • GATE LODGE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LAKE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LANDSCAPE PARK (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • POND (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Historic Landscape Management. 2008. Walsingham Abbey Grounds. Landscape Conservation Strategy. Historic Landscape Management.
<S2>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S3>Publication: Grigor, J.. 1841. The Eastern Arboretum. p.324.
<S4>Directory: White, W.. 1845. White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk.
<S5>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1889 - 1891. Ordnance Survey first edition 6 inch map.. 1:10,560.
<S6>Publication: Edward Lee Warner. 1901. The Life of John Warner, Bishop of Rochester 1637-1666. pp 83.
<S7>Monograph: Baker, E.M.. 2011. Walsingham Abbey..
<S8>Monograph: Harrod, H.. 1857. Gleanings among the Castles and Convents of Norfolk.
<S9>Illustration: Cotman, J. C.. 1819. View of Abbey House across the new Lake.
<S10>Map: Unattributed. 1800-1845. Plans of Walsingham Abbey Grounds and Park.

Related records

56861Parent of: 19th century entrance gates, south of Abbey Park, Walsingham (Building)
56863Parent of: Bridge and Lodge remains, Abbey Park, Walsingham (Monument)
47363Parent of: Estate No 137 (Gardens House), Sunk Road, Little Walsingham (Building)
56867Parent of: Gate piers and gates, south east entrance to Abbey (Monument)
47354Parent of: No 136 (Park Lodge), Fakenham Road, Little Walsingham (Building)
56860Parent of: Pack Horse Bridge, Abbey Park, Walsingham (Monument)
2059Parent of: Post medieval icehouse in Abbey House landscaped park (Monument)
56865Parent of: Site of former fishpond, Abbey Park, Walsingham (Monument)
56864Parent of: Site of former lake, Abbey Park, Walsingham (Monument)
15508Parent of: Site of High Grove House, Walsingham (Monument)
56862Parent of: Stiffkey Bridge (Monument)
56857Parent of: The Knights Gate, Walsingham Abbey (Monument)
56878Parent of: Walled Garden at Abbey Park, Walsingham (Monument)
56880Parent of: Walsingham Abbey Boundary Wall, Church Street (Monument)
56879Parent of: Walsingham Abbey Boundary Wall, Holt Road (Monument)
56856Parent of: Walsingham Abbey Wishing Wells (Monument)
56877Parent of: Walsingham Priory Gatehouse (Building)
56858Related to: Abbey House, Walsingham (Building)
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