Record Details

NHER Number:17417
Type of record:Monument
Name:Foundations of post medieval workhouse behind 29 High Street


Digging a pond behind 29 High Street revealed foundations of a medieval to post medieval building. This is marked as part of a range of three buildings on early maps. These buildings were used as a workhouse. The workhouse is described as being old in 1842. It was closed in 1923 and a demolition order placed on it in 1935 but it was still standing in 1951. It may have burnt down sometime in the 1950s.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 9336 3676
Map Sheet:TF93NW

Full description

July 1981. Foundations exposed in digging garden pond. Behind 29 High Street.
These are marked as an east to west range of three buildings on (S1). Present sub tenant of No. 29 says he has been told these were burnt down 1956 and were the Bridewell, converted from three cottages in 19th century. But if this is so, how does it tie in with the prison a quarter of a mile north? East wall of range as marked on (S1) still stands around 2.5m high. Of old brick with stone quoins. These stand to about 3m at south end of this wall as part of an adjoining outbuilding. Two storage sheds stand back to back at north end of this wall preserving quoins between them. South wall of eastern part of range remains as garden wall with much reused stone. Especially where western wall of the easternmost of the three buildings would have joined it. This wall is one of the foundations exposed. Another is the north wall, about 0.75m thick, flint faced in 16th century brick each side. A thin wall of similar brick running east to west was uncovered in centre of this eastern building. A flight of steps said to have been uncovered on site of central building and a pammet floor on site of western (these not seen). Standing stone quoins are of quality workmanship and do not appear to be just reused blocks; this suggests that at least the eastern of a row of three cottages was made out of a ?medieval stone and flint building.
E. Rose (NAU) 16 July 1981.

July 2002. Visit.
The workhouse is confirmed as in this position by (S2). See NHER 2039. No change to above description and interpretation.
E. Rose (NLA) 15 July 2002.

Documents found in Norfolk Record Office by J. Lodey (NLA). (S3) shows this building was mentioned as the 'old' workhouse as early as 1842; closing order when used as six tenements 1923; demolition order 1935 but still present 1951 when proposals to use 'the three cottages' as a museum.
E. Rose (NLA) 22 March 2005.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING (15th Century to 19th Century - 1500 AD? to 1900 AD)
  • WORKHOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-7. Ordnance Survey 25 inch 2nd edition (revised 1902-7).
<S2>Directory: White, W.. 1845. White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Various. 1842-1951. Papers relating to Little Walsingham workhouse. NRO cat PD 582/266, 241,249,300, 315.

Related records

2039Part of: 29 to 41 High Street (Building)

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