Record Details

NHER Number:30512
Type of record:Monument
Name:Hillington Park


This landscape park, laid out in the 1760s, incorporates several pre-parkland trees. The walled formal gardens (NHER 3508) are an important example of 18th century formal design, along with the 18th century wilderness. The gardens and park were extended in the 19th century.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 722 260
Map Sheet:TF72NW

Full description

The 1756 map (S1) shows the estate, around Hillington Hall (NHER 3508) is a formal garden. South-west is a wilderness area of c.6 acres, with a square piece of water in the middle. The wilderness is surrounded by water. South-west of the wilderness is a medieval moat (NHER 3511). Work began on updating the park in 1774, large areas were seeded, hedge banks were lowered and dykes were cut. In 1776 300 pine trees were planted, and the following year 1000 horse chestnuts were planted.

Faden’s map (S3), surveyed in 1794 shows the park as the total area of land owned by Hillington, however, some of this was actually farmland, probably only the area to the south and east of the wilderness, and north-east of the Hall, up to the river, was planted as parkland. Faden’s map shows the position of the new Flitcham road running along the east boundary of the estate; this road was previously further west, curving towards the Hall. The lowering of hedge banks and seeding in 1776 probably relates to the work carried out after the old road was closed.

The 1824 Ordnance Survey map (S4) shows the parkland, with a belt of trees running through the middle from the south-west to the middle of the park. South of the river, and around this tree belt are free standing trees. A drive leads to the Hall from the east boundary and then runs south to the southern boundary road.

The 1831 map (S1) shows the extent of the tree planting which had been ongoing since 1774. The eastern boundary is now a continuous tree belt. The northern parkland boundary consists of rivers and dykes. The south and west of the park contain tree clumps, particularly on the boundaries. The park is now c.100 acres. There is a tree lined walk extending from the north of the wilderness, and several plantations close by. A new entrance drive has been created starting from the south-west corner and running in a north-east direction, around the northern outbuilding and to the Hall. The first half of the drive runs through farmland before reaching the park.

Between 1840 and 1890, the park extended west to be c.200 acres, including all the land surrounding the drive. The 1906 6 inch Ordnance Survey map (S5) shows more planted woodland in the north-west corner; north of the Hall across the river; and in a large area west of the church (NHER 3484), though here it is not so dense. There are free standing trees all around the park, especially south-east. Today the park is entirely enclosed by tree belts. Important example for plans of 18th century formal gardens. In the 19th century one summerhouse was said to be 'built to the design of one in Kensington Gardens'.
See(S1), (S3), (S4) and (S5).
E. Rose (NLA) 21 March 1994.
Updated by C. Hurst (UEA), 14 November 2011.

Monument Types

  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • AVENUE (LANDSCAPE FEATURE) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PLANTATION (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TREE BELT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WILD GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FORMAL GARDEN (17th Century to 21st Century - 1700 AD to 2100 AD)
  • GARDEN (17th Century to 21st Century - 1700 AD to 2100 AD)
  • LANDSCAPE PARK (18th Century to 21st Century - 1760 AD to 2100 AD)
  • PARK (18th Century to 21st Century - 1760 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Williamson, T. 1998. Archaeology of the Landscape Park: Garden Design in Norfolk, England, c. 1680-1840. BAR (British Series). Vol 268. pp 129, 165; Pl 37.
<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>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S4>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1824-1836. Ordnance Survey First Edition 1 inch..
<S5>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1906 to 1907. Ordnance Survey 2nd edition 6 inch map.

Related records

43186Parent of: Dairy Farmhouse and stables (Building)
21254Parent of: East Gatehouse to Hillington Park (Building)
3511Parent of: Medieval moated site in Hillington Park (Monument)
3516Parent of: Post medieval icehouse (Monument)
21257Parent of: Post medieval pumping station (Monument)
21256Parent of: Probable post medieval garden mound in Hillington Park (Monument)
21255Parent of: South Gatehouse to Hillington Park (Building)
3508Part of: Site of Hillington Hall, gardens and dovecote (Building)

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