Record Details

NHER Number:44214
Type of record:Building
Name:Stanninghall Farm barn


This 18th century brick and knapped flint barn has a cross-shaped plan, formed by porches which are centrally placed to the north and south. The side walls are decorated with massive blind arcades.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 25542 17503
Map Sheet:TG21NE

Full description

May 1984. Listed, Grade II.
Listing Description Excerpt:
"Barn, late 17th century, built of red brick and knapped flint, with asbestos roofs. 'Monumental' barn of cross-shaped plan, formed by porches, centrally placed to north and south. Random bonded brickwork. Flint or brick plinth, with blind arcades with segmental arches. Four bays to either side of one bay porches."
Information from (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current listing details.
M. Dennis (NLA), 30 March 2006. Amended J. Cullis (HES), 8 November 2019.

For full detailed report on the barn see file for NHER 8059.
E. Rose (NLA), 2007.

Winter 2012/2013. Inspection.
This very large barn has eccentricities reflecting the status of the Gunton Hall Estate. It may even have had the involvement of a professional architect associated with the estate. They bought the Stanninghall Estate in the late 17th century and the barn was built about a hundred years later. The barn has opposing porches built with arched openings flanked by clasping pilasters themselves supporting sections of entablature neatly forming the kneelers for the gables. The impression, or at least the inspiration, is the Roman triumphal arch. The arch which was built blind has very little practical purpose but has suitably 'antique' proportions.

In addition to the porches there are large blind arcades to both sides of the barn. The arches spring from simple rounded imposts and, oddly, the arches flanking the porches are much narrower. Of particular interest in relation to these arcades is their practical purpose when it is seen that the arches go though the full thickness of the walls and appear on the inside surfaces also. The infill consists of relatively narrow walls which have no genuine structural purpose with the weight having been transferred by the arches into the piers of the arcades. The practicality is reducing the mass and saving on the cost of materials.

Contrary to the commonly held view that the barn was constructed when the Harbords first acquired the estate the roof structure shows it to have been built at a date well advanced into the 18th century and probably its second half. Several things point to this:
-The roof is built of imported Scandinavian softwood of massive proportions. This kind of heavy timber from Scandinavia, despite the centuries old history of trade in timber, only appear relatively late in Norfolk buildings certainly well into the 18th century.

- The roof structure is of principal rafters with the tie beams crossing the centre of each bay connected to the principal rafters only by the wall plates. 18th century technique

-The purlins connecting the pairs of principal rafters have tapered tenons which overlap and completely fill the mortises held by pegs in diagonal positions. A typical late 18th century technique.

The ingenious design and the classical details suggest the involvement of an architect. Mathew Brettingham built Gunton Hall after 1742 and James Wyatt was working on the estate in 1770.
S. Heywood (HES), 07 March 2013

Monument Types

  • BARN (17th Century to 21st Century - 1675 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Unpublished Document: UEA. 1987. UEA Historic Farm Building Survey..
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 674.
---Monograph: Millican, P.. 1937. History of Horstead and Stanninghall.. pp 3, 60.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. Barn restoration to feature on TV. 21 August.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1178260.

Related records

8059Part of: Stanninghall deserted medieval village (Monument)
MNO3528Related to: Barn at Stanninghall Farm Stanninghall Road Stanninghall HORSTEAD (Revoked)

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