Record Details

NHER Number:8324
Type of record:Building
Name:Irstead Old Hall


A timber framed and brick house, which used to bear the date 1632 on the porch, and which was altered in the 18th century to incorporate Classical architectural details. The house is surrounded by walled gardens which date to the early 18th century, but are probably on the site of earlier gardens. The nearby farm buildings date mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries, the main barn is timber framed, and was built in the mid 17th century. A wall which probably formed part of the former east wing of the hall was encountered during a watching brief in September 2011.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 361 201
Map Sheet:TG32SE

Full description

Elizabethan or Jacobean.
(S1) states formerly dated 1632 on porch; has blocked Tudor fireplace, pedimented porch, chimneys, walled gardens, doors. (It would be very odd if it did not have doors; presumably this means original doors).
E. Rose (NAU) 1974.

Listed grade II, see (S2), as farmhouse of late 16th century origin, altered late 18th century. Brick and black pantiles. West facade, 2 storeys, 5 bays, 2 storey gabled porch to right with arched entrance. Platband below 3 light mullioned window below pediment. 4 late 18th century casements to ground and first floors. Bell based gable roof with 4 hipped dormers. South internal gable stack. Rear (east) side has added outshuts through which rise 2 stepped external stacks, partly rebuilt, with triple octagonal flues and 19th century star tops, gabled back to main roof. The garden wall is listed as 18th century around original forecourt with rusticated piers to west entrance. North side common with kitchen garden wall to north, of similar type.
To south is five stead threshing barn, 16th century timber-framed, rebuilt in brick early 17th century, thatched. Cart
doors to east. South lit windows. Close studded interior timber frame to west. Roof of tiebeams on arched braces, collars and two tiers butt purlins. Curved windbracing to upper tier.
E. Rose, (NAU) 31 October 1986.

North Norfolk Council note that the barn has a set of doors in a gable wall which open onto the river; they believe these were used for loading wherries.
E. Rose, (NLA) 7 September 1999.

See provisional report in file pending fuller examination to come, showing that the barn is in fact 17th century rather than 16th with brick walls circa 1800 not 1600; comments on house also. See (S3).
E. Rose (NLA), 3 October 2001.

Provisional report superceded by full report November 2002, see (S3).
Barn now restored. House shown to be of 1632 (possibly on timber frame c.1600) with high quality remodelling late 18th century, and 19th/20th century alterations.
E. Rose (NLA), 19 November 2002.

December 2002.
Evaluation confirmed that the building has a timber frame.
E. Rose (NLA), 14 December 2002.

2010. Building survey.
An attempt has been made to chart the complex history of this house. It started life as a much larger L-shaped building of high status as expressed by the massive external chimney stacks and the porch. It was timber –framed with a tall brick plinth and high quality timber of substantial scantling. The building was odernised during the 18th century mainly by the replacement of mullion windows with larger mullion and
transom windows, the lining of the walls and the addition of cornices etc. It was also when the little parlour with its own heating was created. The building was drastically reduced between 1891 and 1907 related no doubt to an anticipated dispersal of the estate. This was followed by facing the timber-frame with brick and the addition of service rooms at the rear. The final major phase of alteration was when the porch doorway was blocked up and replaced by a door and corridor re-using the original frame taken from the porch. The room was thus reduced in size and it was given a suspended floor. An office was added at the back and the hearths were reduced.
See (S4) and (S5) for further information.
A. Cattermole (HES), 29 July 2011.

June 2010- July 2011. Watching Brief.
An archaeological watching brief carried out between June 2010 and July 2011 revealed the probable foundations of the former east wing of the hall. No finds or further features of archaeological significance were present within the limits of the excavations.
See report (S6) for details.
E. Bales (HES) 09 July 2012.

Monument Types

  • GARDEN WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED BUILDING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (17th Century to 21st Century - 1632 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. Historic family home with panoramic views. 29 September.
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Photograph: Rose, E.. 2003. KHW 1-3.
---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 578.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Post-Medieval. Barton Tuf.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy, B. 1961. Some Norfolk Halls. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXII pp 163-208. p 189.
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1049933.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 2002. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. 2010. Building Report. Irstead Old Hall, Barton Turf, Norfolk.. Building Report.
<S5>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. 2010. Irstead Old Hall, Statement re Attic ceiling..
<S6>Unpublished Contractor Report: Birks, C. 2011. Report on an Archaeological Watching Brief at Irstead Hall, Barton Turf, Norfolk. Chris Birks Archaeological Services. CB249R.

Related records

MNO2312Related to: Barn 70 metres S of Irstead Old Hall BARTON TURF (Revoked)
MNO2308Related to: Garden Walls to Irstead Old Hall Irstead Road BARTON TURF (Revoked)

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