Record Details

NHER Number:8434
Type of record:Building
Name:Hoveton House


Built in about 1680 for Thomas Blofeld, Mayor of Norwich and M.P., this two storey red brick house is one of the most attractive examples of its time in Norfolk. Its south front is eleven window bays wide with dormer attics. The windows are all 18th century and have carved keystones. The central three bays project forward a little and have giant pilasters to each side. This middle projection also has a doorway (now converted to a window) with pilasters supporting a formalised gable which sports a great deal of riotously carved vegetables. Above this is a window with the Blofeld crest. At the rear are two cross wings with Dutch gables and to the east a two storey gabled extension of 1851. To the north of the house are attractive outbuildings forming a courtyard, mostly 18th century but with additions of 1851. The walled gardens were laid out in 1807 by Humphry Repton, and the ha-ha running south of the main façade is by him. Repton also proposed a great deal of architectural work, but this was not carried out.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 3196 1758
Map Sheet:TG31NW

Full description

About 1680.
Brick, ashlar dressings, plaintiled roof. South front two storeys and dormers in eleven bays. Centre three bays defined by giant order Corinthian pilasters which also occur on corners of elevation. Original central doorway converted to window. Pair of fluted Corinthian pilasters support richly moulded entablature below pediment 'so riotously carved with vegetative motifs as to defy precise classification'. Window above with ashlar architrave and capitals in the form of three feathers, the Blofield crest. Window to right of door once enlarged as entrance but not used since 1908. String courses between storeys. All windows 18th century sashes, each with keystone rising into cornice and elaborately carved, each different. Scrolled brick aprons below. Façade further divided by two drain pipes. Hipped roof, four pedimented dormers, central pair segmental. Two square symmetrical ridge stacks. Rear of house, two storeys with two crosswings with Dutch gables, one with segmental pediment; windows all replaced. To east, two storey gabled extension of 1851. Interior designed in sixteen feet units.
Iron twist stair bannisters; dado panelling to stairs, drawing and dining room with overmantels probably by Thomas Ivory, about 1740, both with broken pediments. Doorcase to dining room similar. Alcove off principal bedroom with square 1680 plaster ceiling with strapwork etc.
Information from (S1).
(S2) calls it 'one of the most perfect of its time in Norfolk'.
Also listed (grade II) are north courtyard and outbuildings, 18th century. Brick walled court running from 1851 extension, north, west and south and joining courtroom on main house. Tack room at northeast corner, heightened in 19th century with square cupola. One storey building along west side. In centre south wall a carved sundial date 1722.
Courtroom is of three bays, one storey, between gateway and gabled passageway next to house.
Also listed, brick ha-ha and north and east sides walled garden; latter has regular brick piers, former runs west from walls in front of house, part of Humphrey Repton's 1807 remodelling of the grounds.
E. Rose (NAU), 3 November 1986.

(S3) suggests an earlier structure of about 1630 may be incorporated in the house. Minor alterations of 1740 are mentioned, and grandiose plans by Repton never carried out; but the 1850s work is not mentioned.
E. Rose (NLA), 21 March 1994.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HA HA (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---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 571-572.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entries 1049903, 1049903 and 1049905.
<S2>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-East Norfolk and Norwich. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 175.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Norfolk County Council. [unknown]. Inventory of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Norfolk..

Related records - none

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