Record Details

NHER Number:13542
Type of record:Building
Name:The Bull Inn


A massive 17th century and later building. The main section has two storeys and an attic and contains a 17th century timber frame clad in 18th century bricks. The first innkeeper is recorded in 1620, which may fit with the date of the timber frame. To the south is an adjoined house which has a 19th century façade and possibly an older core. Extensions were added in the 19th century and these include a carriage arch, a magistrates court and stables. These may have been built when the premises became a coaching inn. In 2005 a possible prehistoric rubbing stone was found set into a floor. Local stories suggest that the building stands above four upturned oak trees and that there is a complete oak tree incorporated within one wall.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 8861 1770
Map Sheet:TF81NE

Full description

December 1951. Listed, Grade II.
Listing Description:
Public house. C17 with C18 former stables and an early C19 side extension. Rendered timber frame with flint and brick gable-ends, brick stables and colour-washed brick side extension. Pantiled roofs, black to original block. 2 storeys with attics to original block. Original block of 2 bays with C19 sash windows at ground floor 3-light casements above and flat headed dormers with 2-light casements with glazing bars. Gable-end stacks. C19 side extension of 3 bays with 4 sash windows with glazing bars and one later C19 replacement. Central raised and fielded panelled door. Doorcase with reeded pilasters and flat hood on pair of shaped brackets. Steps with swept metal railings. Former stables form frontage along Mileham Road. 3 sash windows with glazing bars at upper floor. 3 ground floor windows beyond (one blocked) with segmental heads. Den- tilled cornice and carriage entrance beside main block. Beams with ogee and nicked stops in original block. Brick fireplace with plain chamfered shallow arch. Some C18 doors with raised and fielded panels. Jowled wall posts and butt-purlin roof to original block.
Information from (S1).
H. Mellor (HES), 23 June 2017.

Massively built, of two storeys, flint brick and plaster coating clearly over a timber frame. Buttressed corners.
E. Rose (NAU), 7 April 1978.

(S1) describes as 17th century, timber framed with expanded posts and ogee stops, clad in 18th century brick.
[1] states that main room stands on four oak trees with roots upturned, with sleeper walls of very early brickwork. This is not mentioned in (S1); but elsewhere in England the practice of using upturned tree stumps as corner supports is recorded. But is this just a legend derived from the expanded topped posts?
E. Rose (NAU), 4 March 1983.

(S2) quotes records of the Bull Inn in 1620 AD.
R. Rickett (NAU), November 1983.

March 1999.
Noted in passing that the ground floor was once divided into two rooms (now opened out with reused timber as post); the southern room has a large 17th century fireplace, probably a kitchen.
The story about the four oak trees is not known in the inn, but instead they have a story that a complete oak tree is walled up in the northwest corner; again, probably derived from a jowled post.
E. Rose (NLA), 29 March 1999.

January 2004.
Timber framed building with flint and brick firegables; two storeys and attic, north end more ornate. First innkeeper stated to be recorded 1620, building is of about that date but more resembling a private house, or perhaps and alehouse. Now incorporates a house to the south with 19th century façade, perhaps on older core. 19th century extensions to east include carriage arch, magistrates court and stables, perhaps marking upgrading of premises to a coaching inn when adjacent turnpike opened.
See (S3) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 27 January 2004.

September 2005.
Works on stable wing revealed further reused timbers and what may be a prehistoric rubbing stone set in the floor.
E. Rose (NLA), 27 September 2005.

Monument Types

  • COURT ROOM (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • INN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • STABLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED BUILDING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POLISHER (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF8817/P - R.
---Unpublished Document: 2011. Planning Application.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 519.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1077490.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Puddy, E.I.. 1958. Litcham, history of a Norfolk village..
<S3>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 2004. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 2005. Further Building Report. Building Report.

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