Record Details

NHER Number:30504
Type of record:Monument
Name:Gillingham Park


A small park existed here before 1797. It was expanded until 1812 when roads were closed and churches were incorporated into the park. The park was returned to arable between 1839 and 1906. Some of the early formal elements still remain and the layout can be seen on aerial photographs. The park is noted for the large number of London plane trees remaining which are rare outside the Home Counties. An earthwork survey identified the medieval road line which formed the 18th century park boundary. This feature and other earthworks are visible on aerial photographs.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 4132 9220
Map Sheet:TM49SW

Full description

Gillingham Park.
Historic Parkland on (S1), but not included in (S2). No maps provided with (S1) so boundary is open to correction. Small park existed pre 1797. Expanded up to 1812 when roads closed and churches incorporated into park. Proposals by J. C. Louden partly followed but part of south park returned to arable 1839 to 1906. Some early formal elements always remained; canal south of house existed until around 1980 when converted into lake. Kitchen garden part remains. Extensive area of yew east of house which may have marked the early formal gardens was removed after storm damage 1987. Park is notable for the size and quantity of Platanus X hispanica. These are London planes which are rare outside Home Counties.
Information from R. Driscoll (NCM).
E. Rose (NLA), 17 March 1994.

Garden layout visible as cropmarks on Ordnance Survey aerial photograph 1981.

January 1998. Earthwork Survey.
Survey at 1:1000 of earthworks south of hall. Probable medieval road line formed an 18th century park boundary, with internal subdivision, possibly in part medieval, but part oriented to the south wing of hall.
Pottery identified by A. Rogerson (NLA).
See report (S3) for plan and further details. This site was included in (S4) and the survey is also noted in (S10).
B. Cushion (NLA), 6 February 1998. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 8 April 2015.

September 2006. Norfolk NMP
Earthworks of a medieval road and post medieval enclosures and park boundary are visible on aerial photographs (S6-S9). The central grid reference for Gillingham Park has been amended from TM 4110 9220 to TM 4129 9223. The polygon represents the probable extent of the park rather than the area of the mapped earthworks. Many of the earthworks visible on the aerial photographs have been recorded in greater detail during a field survey (S3-S4) and consequently will only be briefly described here. The most prominent earthwork is a west to east aligned hollow way that extends for 300m between TM 4124 9199 and TM 4153 9203. This is up to 12m wide and appears to bifurcate at its western end. The hollow way is likely to relate to a medieval road and also formed part of the southern boundary of the park. A further section of possible hollow way earthwork leads roughly northwards from its eastern end. Extending north from the main west to east aligned hollow way is a series of roughly north to south aligned bank and ditch earthworks. Some of these form incomplete enclosures that were also recorded by the field survey. It is likely that they are of medieval to post medieval date (S3-S4). To the south of the hollow way is a roughly north to south aligned ditch earthwork. This was partly recorded by the field survey and is part of the park boundary. A rectangular pit or pond earthwork was present at the southern end of this ditch at TM 4134 9183. It measured 20m long by 13m wide and was surrounded by a low earthwork bank. The function of this earthwork and its relationship to the park boundary is uncertain. It was destroyed by the Gillingham bypass in 1981 (S8) and consequently was not recorded by the field survey.
Cropmarks relating to garden features have previously been recorded to the north of the hall as being visible on a 1981 aerial photograph (S8) (See above). These are in fact traces of a modern football field that had the goal posts still in position at that time. The football field was also marked on 1966 Ordnance Survey aerial photographs (S7).
J. Albone (NMP), 18 September 2006

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HOLLOW WAY (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROAD (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PARK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POND (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Norfolk County Council. [unknown]. Inventory of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Norfolk..
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England..
<S3>Unpublished Report: Cushion, B. 1998. Gillingham Park SMR 30504. Earthwork Survey Report.
<S4>Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 104. p 210.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/930 4101-2 16-OCT-1945 (NHER TM 4092C / TM 4192A).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1716 4084-5 06-SEP-1946 (NHER TM 4091A / TM 4191A).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1966. OS/66003 054-5 08-MAR-1966 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1981. OS/81109 132-3 29-SEP-1981.
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: ADAS. 1995. ADAS 630 99-100 25-MAY-1995 (BA).
<S10>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1999. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1998. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt II pp 369-387. p 372.

Related records - none

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