Record Details

NHER Number:8919
Type of record:Building
Name:Kimberley Hall or House


The current Kimberley Hall was built in by William Talman in 1712 for Sir John Wodeshouse, fourth baronet. It sits on top of the only hill for miles, away from the original medieval site of the previous hall (NHER 8918), from which some of the bricks of this hall originally came.

This large red brick mansion was enlarged in 1754 by Thomas Prowse, and altered in 1835 by Anthony Salvin. It is set within a large Park (NHER 30466) laid out by Capability Brown from 1762.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 0906 0476
Map Sheet:TG00SE

Full description

December 1950. Listed, Grade II*.

December 1978. Field Observation.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU).
Kimberley Hall or House. Red brick, 1712 by Talman. Corner towers added by Prowse after 1754; the building's facades must have been altered at that time. Entrance front (NW) eleven bays, three storeys (top smaller than others) Of these the towers take up the end bays, and the central three are under a pediment bearing huge Wodehouse coat of arms.
Central window with rounded pediment, above projecting four-columned Ionic porch. All windows have aprons and stone surrounds. Quadrant passages lead to flanking pavilions of seven by seven bays, central three pedimented, two storeys (upper small). Pedimented doors where passages join towers. Garden front similar; NW and SW fronts of five bays with
central pedimented windows. NW formerly had an open loggia. Of interior details, Pevsner (S1) notes an octagonal room by Sanderson 1770, spiral staircase with wrought-iron rail, another with wooden balustrade; room with Corinthian columns flanking niche supported on caryatids, also by Sanderson; and an upper groin vaulted corridor perhaps original of 1712. Towers have onion caps and wind vanes on SW. Cozens-Hardy (S2) claims a dairy dated 1720 and a garden terrace and colonnade by Salvin. There is supposed to have been a service wing burnt down in 1899 but it is hard to see how this could have been fitted in, unless it was separate to SE.
Hall now divided into flats.
Park (NHER 30466) was laid out by Capability Brown, and though divided up now much is still pasture and woods remain.
Compiled by E. Rose (NAU), 7 December 1978. Information from record cards (S3).
P. Watkins (HES), 19 March 2022.

Dr R Wilson, CEAS, in lecture 28 May 1987, said that Talman house was of nine bays. Prowse not only added the towers but the small corner wings and stone dressings, and slate roofs for which the slate was brought from Westmorland to London, to Great Yarmouth by sea and so to Norwich then to Wymondham. Salvin in 1835 added the linking corridors, cement render on the small wings, the Wodehouse coat of arms in the pediment and the arched ground floor windows in the end walls. He states that the accounts show some of the Wodehouse Tower was still standing in 1750 and was demolished, the bricks used again here. See NHER 8918.
Compiled by E. Rose (NAU), 29 May 1987. Information from record cards (S3).
P. Watkins (HES), 19 March 2022.

See detailed 1994 listing description (S4), including alterations of 1951.

Dr T. Williamson in (S5) referring to the 1712 rebuilding states that the hall was "rebuilt on its existing site" despite proposals to move it. However his gazetteer follows the details given above. It seems that he means that there was a proposal to move the side from Downham Lodge to near the Wodehouse Tower, but in the event a site near Downham Lodge was chosen.
Compiled by E Rose (NLA), 15 September 2000. Information from file notes (S6).
P. Watkins (HES), 19 March 2022.

For the builder's trouble with the slate roofs and slaters, the latter being," unknown breed in Norfolk...", see (S7).
E Rose (NLA). Information from file notes (S6).
P. Watkins (HES), 19 March 2022.

Excerpt of current Listing Description:
"Country House. 1712 by William Talman, the corner towers added 1754 by Thomas Prowse to Talman's design. Brick with stone dressings. Lead and felt roof. Entrance front to north-east. Three storeys, with additional storey in corner towers. Nine bays, centre three broken forward under pediment. Corner towers are additional single bays which project to north-east and south-west, but are flush to the five-bay returns. Bays divided by platbands. Central door behind portico on four Ionic columns by Fletcher Watson, 1951...Main pediment with coat of arms. Plain parapet conceals flat roof. Several stacks arranged symmetrically. Corner towers with hipped slate roofs. South-west (garden) façade similar but plainer...To north and south of entrance front are quadrangular wings, linked to house by quadrants by Anthony Salvin, 1835. Quadrants of one storey and basement: brick, sloping slate roof to rear, sashes with glazing bars. Quadrangular wings both similar: brick, two storeys, slate hipped roofs. Five bays, central three bays broken forward to each side under pediment, except to north return of north wing and south return to south wing...North wing with infilled courtyard, south wing restored 1958….Extensive basements with groined vaults."
Information from (S4).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S4) for the current listing details, which includes a detailed description of notable interior features.
P. Watkins (HES), 19 March 2022.

Notable structures in the vicinity of the hall include an early 19th-century icehouse to the south (NHER 8926) and the 18th-century walls of an adjacent enclosure garden (now recorded as NHER 65474), both of which were listed Grade II in 1972. The lodges, gates and gate piers associated with the north-east entrance were also listed Grade II at this time (now NHER 65475).
P. Watkins (HES), 19 March 2022.

Monument Types

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (18th Century to 21st Century - 1712 AD to 2100 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (18th Century to 21st Century - 1712 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG0904 V-X; TG 0904 Y-AC.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1995. TG0904/AG,AH,AJ - AN,AP,AQ.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TG0904/AD - AF.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 0904AR - AT.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 00 SE 1 [4].
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, B. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 458-459; Pl 91.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Post-Medieval. Wymondham.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1998. Treasures of family that made history. 7 October.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. [Photograph of Kimberley Hall].
<S1>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 220.
<S2>Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy, B. 1961. Some Norfolk Halls. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXII pp 163-208. p 190.
<S3>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S4>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1293198.
<S5>Monograph: Williamson, T. 1998. Archaeology of the Landscape Park: Garden Design in Norfolk, England, c. 1680-1840. BAR (British Series). Vol 268.
<S6>Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S7>Publication: Wilson, R. and Mackley, A. 2000. Creating Paradise: The Building of the English Country House 1660-1880. p 191.

Related records

65475Parent of: Lodges, gates and gate piers to Kimberley House (Building)
14296Parent of: Park Farm (Building)
65474Parent of: Walls to enclosed garden to south-south-east of Kimberley House (Structure)
30466Related to: Kimberley Park (Designed Landscape)

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