Record Details

NHER Number:6814
Type of record:Building
Name:Gunton Tower


This structure has been referred to as an observatory but is more probably a prospect tower built around 1830. It is constructed from yellow brick with rusticated pilasters at the corners. Inside, part of the original wooden stair survives in the top storey. This tower has been recently restored after vandals damaged it. Interestingly enough, Bryant's map of 1826 shows a kiln, apparently on this site, before the tower was built.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2388 3488
Map Sheet:TG23SW

Full description

Called an observatory by (S1); probably a prospect tower though said to have been once a lodge and to have been built in 1830. Yellow brick; rises from arch at centre of four curving wings walls, two curving to south and two to north. In each of these are three arched windows, some blank. Another blank one is set in the end of each wing. Rusticated pilasters at corners. Archway has four giant pilasters; pair each side of the arch, and between these and the outer ones are rectangular windows below circular ones. Above them, a balustrade. Tower rises over arch only, with twin arched windows; above this a glazed storey with detached angle pilasters (two at each corner). Whole about 37m (120ft) high excluding finial. Carriageway (now blocked) under arch is groin-vaulted with large doorway each side, and iron gates. Part of original wooden stair survives in top storey. It appears that all the windows in wing walls were originally blank, probably the interiors were yards, and later windows were knocked in, the tops of the arches blocked in red brick, and lean-to buildings with chimneys constructed against the insides. Date of 1830 probably correct - not part of Wyatt's work. Has been vandalised and emergency repairs carried out, now due for restoration.
E. Rose (NAU) 5 November 1981.

Newspaper cuttings (S2), (S3) and (S4) in file.
Report in file.
Building now fully restored. Listed Grade LBII*.
E. Rose (NAU) 19 August 1989.

Architects drawings (pre 1992) as large rolled plans.
E. Rose (NAU).

Interestingly enough, Bryant's map 1826 shows a kiln, apparently on this site, before the tower was built.
E. Rose (NLA) 22 May 2001.

Monument Types

  • BRICK KILN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LODGE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • OBSERVATORY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG 2234F,G.
---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. p 536.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1991. Park saved from dereliction. 29 July.
---Photograph: Gunton Tower. Print.
---*Rolled Plan: Large Plan Exists.
---Photograph: BZM 14.
<S1>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-East Norfolk and Norwich. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 157.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1978. Vandals blamed for tower danger. 4 May.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1983. Restoration topping out at Gunton Tower. 16 December.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1985. Folly for different holiday. 11 April.

Related records

30438Part of: Gunton Park (Monument)

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