Record Details

NHER Number:8924
Type of record:Building
Name:Gonville Hall


This medieval moated site has a circular moat, part of which is now under 19th century farm buildings, as well as a possible rectangular outer enclosure to the northeast. The present Gonville Hall building dates to the 16th century, and is a fragment of what might once have been a much larger house. It has been noted that the brickwork appears older in the eastern end, and the house may also retain the remains of a timber-frame. Earthworks and cropmarks of various ditches surrounding the hall are visible on aerial photographs and have been recorded separately as NHER 53334.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 0995 0020
Map Sheet:TG00SE

Full description

Gonville Hall.

December 1950. Listed Grade II.

December 1978. Field Observation.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU).
Cirular moat (missing on south under 19th-century farm buildings) with apparent rectangular outer enclosure to northeast. Toft sites in angle to southeast. Owner states moat is of 1314, and that there are cellars of this date.
Plan of house odd; at south end two parallel and in part adjoining east to west wings (plan in file). Southern one has west gable wall of flint, three storeys, top and bottom windows with several brick mullions. South wall of brick, one long low window remaining, much blocking and patchings. East gable rebuilt.
Parallel wing to north, projecting further east, has east gable of brick on flint plinth. Three storeys, windows with brick mullions and hood moulds; west end all rebuilt. Large original chimneystack on south. Projecting north from this wing is a north to south wing; where it joins the east to west wing it has a large chamfered projection in old brick on east, and two projections on west, one in brick with blocked windows against another, restored, gabled and painted over. North to south wing itself has again one long and low window on east, and marks of others altered; French windows said to be on site of original entrance to hall; opposite is only remaining brick fireplace, with large chimneystack behind on west wall with three restored chimneys. Wing continued further north until around 1920 with another fireplace - foundations remain under grass.
Fragment of original staircase said to remain in attic (roof seems original). According to owner painting in private possession in London shows another wing, presumably east to west at north end of this wing making house H-shaped.
Owner states building is late 15th century; it is listed as 17th and Bolingbroke collection class it Elizabethan! In fact section with flint gable appears 16th century, remainder later 16th or 17th century.
Compiled by E. Rose (NAU), 7 December 1978. Information from record cards (S1).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 19 March 2022.

June 1984.
Excavations at TG 0995 0017, on junction of inner and outer moats (Context 1) to find gatehouse, by Dr A. K. Knowles. Part of 15th century double looped buckle of copper alloy with moulded decoration on frame seen by S. Margeson (NCM) 17 September 1984.

NAU not informed until February 1986. No further details.

Revised listed building description of 1994 (S2) dates building as a 16th-century fragment of a larger house with 'brickwork of increasing antiquity towards east' and also sees remnant of a timber frame in the expanded studs and chamfered bridging beams. However the directions given do not correspond with the above notes, nor apparently with each other. A 'parallel range' is dated to the 20th century but therefore it is difficult to judge what is meant. A site visit is required.
E. Rose (NLA), 17 June 1994.

A circular moat waterfilled, clear of weed and dead wood. It would appear that there are possibly two outer moats to northeast. Moat was cleaned out in 1967.
H. Paterson (NLA), 18 December 1998.

January 2010. Norfolk NMP.
Earthworks and cropmarks of various ditches surrounding the hall, including the possible 'Toft south-east' mentioned above are visible on aerial photographs, and have been re-numbered as NHER 53334.
E. Bales (NMP), 20 January 2010.

Excerpt of current Listing Description:
"House. 16th-century fragment of larger building, altered 1966. Timber-framed core, now mainly brick. Roofs of pantiles and
plaintiles. East front comprises a two-storey range to north... [with] gabled roof. 16th-century gable projects to south in three storeys... [with] three-light 16th-century chamfered brick attic window...Gabled roof. South return of this cross wing with a large stepped external stack gabled back to main roof...An offset gabled two-storey range runs east from this, the brickwork displaying increasing antiquity towards 16th-century east end. Front in three bays...Gabled roof with internal gable-end stack to east...Parallel range to north 20th century.
INTERIOR: Ocassional jowled studs of timber-frame survive. 20th-century staircase re-uses balusters. Occasional chamfered bridging beams.
Information from (S2).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S2) for the full listing details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 19 March 2022.

Monument Types

  • MOAT (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED HOUSE (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BUCKLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1989. NHER TG0900 A-C DUC8-10 (NCC 246) 04-Sept-1989.
---Serial: Blomefield, F.. 1805. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk.. Vol II. p 503.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG0900 D-E JCH14-5 (NCC 368) 08-JUL-1996.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 00 SE 7 [2].
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, B. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 805-806.
---Publication: Rye, W.. 1916. Castles and Manor Houses From the Conquest to the Present Time. p 68.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Wymondham.
---Monograph: Roach, J. P. C. (ed). 1959. The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Vol 3 The City and University of Cambridge. pp 356-362.
<S1>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S2>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1196653.

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2024 Norfolk Historic Environment Service