Record Details

NHER Number:3173
Type of record:Building
Name:Thornage Hall


Thornage Hall is a former grange of the Bishops of Norwich. The site is known to have been occupied from the Norman period, and excavation has uncovered medieval floor surfaces. The present building was built around 1482 for Bishop Goldwell, and contains reused fragments of 12th- to 13th-century stone in the walls. In the 17th century each end was demolished and remodelled, but the hall windows and doorways in the centre block were retains. In 1988 a 17th-century sewer tunnel was rediscovered. Nearby there is a large brick dovecote, dating to 1728, and barns of flint and brick dating to 1718 and 1727.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 0480 3637
Map Sheet:TG03NW

Full description

Thornage Hall

February 1952. Listed Grade II*.
Listing Description excerpt:
Hall, c.1482, altered 17th century and 19th century. Former grange of The Bishops of Norwich. Built for Bishop Goldwell (1472-99). Rendered flint with stone dressings. Black glazed pantiles. Gable parapets. Rectangular hall, c.9 x 21m. Now two storeys and attic. Front: four stepped buttresses with stone dressings, right hand buttress double width. Small gault brick internal gable stacks and one small central axial stack. Large equilateral stone arch of five orders to left...Double leaved part glazed door...Smaller doorway to right: arch barely pointed, rendered round shafts. Late 19th-century panelled door heavily carved with medieval themes...Over door 15th-century square headed window of two cusped lights under panel tracery. Full height window with similar head to right, transom at first floor level, window later extended down c.½m below original level. Stone dressings. Spandrels to interior and exterior with shields showing W, well and scallop (symbols of Bishop Goldwell)...Right hand gable: flint and brick mosaic. Lattice attic window. Left hand gable: rendered flint and brick. Blocked stone doorway arch in centre…
Rear: coursed flint and brick mosaic. Irregular mosaic near eaves. Pantiles. Parts of two four-centred relieving arches to right upper floor and similar full height arch to left (possibly former hall oriel)...Two stepped buttresses with stone dressings.
Interior: floored and subdivided [in] 17th century with service rooms to rear. Roll moulded chamfered beams with ogee and bar stops. 19th-century pine dogleg stair case with bobbin turned balusters behind right hand door. Right hand room fireplace: 19th-century pine surround with carved relief trailing foliage; late 19th-century tiles around grate in blue and orange with rondels depicting activities of the months in pre- Raphaelite style. Left hand room has inserted fireplace across blocked doorway arch. Roof: rebuilt, many timbers renewed, scissor braced, three rows of butt purlins. Some moulded purlins. Large rough hewn pine ties. Drawing in hall of 1851 shows stacks and both door arches.
Forms a group with dovecote [NHER 65471], barn [NHER 65472] and cart shed [NHER 65473]."
Information from (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current listing details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 18 March 2022.

Amongst the halls noted in (S2).

Around 1978. Building Survey.
Examined by Norfolk Archaeological Rescue Group (NARG).
See report in file.
P. Watkins (HES), 18 March 2022.

February 1988. Building Survey.
Thornage Hall and outbuildings examined by E. Rose (NAU).
See file notes (S3) for detailed report. See also reconstruction drawings by J. Denny (NNDC) in file.
P. Watkins (HES), 18 March 2022.

October 1988. Field Observation.
Render removed from all of south façade of building.
See file notes (S3) for observations recorded.
P. Watkins (HES), 18 March 2022.

1988. Excavation.
Excavation by MSC team for NAU at rear of main building.
This work revealed possible medieval foundations, cobbled surfaces and pottery. A post-medieval drain was also recorded.
Details in file.
Compiled by E. Rose (NAU), 25 November 1991. Information from file notes (S3).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 18 March 2022.

See newspaper articles (S4) in file.
M. Horlock (NLA), 19 August 2002.

April 2004. Planning Application.
Erection of extension and new dwellings and alterations to facilitate works.
See (S5) for further details.
Z. Dack (HES), 27 July 2012.

In 1960 a dovecote approximately 30m south-east of the hall was also listed Grade II*. This is now recorded separately as NHER 65471. In 1987 a barn and a lofted cart shed at Thornage Hall farm were both listed Grade II. These are now recorded as NHERs 65472 and NHER 65473 respectively.
P. Watkins (HES), 18 March 2022.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING (Unknown date)
  • FEATURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GRANGE (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • GREAT HOUSE? (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1482 AD?)
  • WALL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Medieval to 21st Century - 1482 AD? to 2100 AD)
  • DRAIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TUNNEL (16th Century to 19th Century - 1600 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG 0436/ G, H.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2002. Pure content. 17 August.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 03 NW 7.
---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. pp 689-690.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Thornage.
---*Rolled Plan: Large Plan Exists.
---Photograph: EAH 1-30, EGH 33-37, EQJ 1-3.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1304519.
<S2>Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy, B. 1961. Some Norfolk Halls. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXII pp 163-208. p 204.
<S3>Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1986-1997. [Articles on the repurposing of Thornage Hall into a residential home for adults with learning disabilities].
<S5>Unpublished Document: 2011. Planning Application.

Related records

65472Parent of: Barn at Thornage Hall Farm, south-west of Thornage Hall (Building)
65471Parent of: Dovecote to south-east of Thornage Hall (Building)
65473Parent of: Lofted cart shed at Thornage Hall Farm, west of Thornage Hall (Building)

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