Record Details

NHER Number:13583
Type of record:Monument
Name:Melton Constable railway town


This village is a planned railway town that was built around the junction that acted as the heart of the Midlands and Great Northern Joint Railway (MGNR). Established in the late 19th century it is an unspoilt example of Victorian town planning, with two original red and decorative brick terraced streets and includes a school, Working Man's club, station, Railway Institute, shops and a pub. Employment was provided by the carriage works, engine sheds, engineering works and the station itself. The town was provided with M&GNR sewers, gasworks and water stored in the tower. A second stage of building immediately after the railway development but still in the late 19th century is different in character in more local style.


  • Melton Constable station. Photograph from Eastern Daily Press.  © Eastern Daily Press
  • A street in the planned railway town of Melton Constable.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • Melton Constable Railway Institute.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • Melton Constable School.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TG 044 330
Map Sheet:TG03SW

Full description

Founded 1881 on empty site.
Melton Street and Astley Terrace built first, then Colville Road and Briston Road. Larger houses built by bowling green. Had own gasworks, water tower and sewerage works. Railway Institute 1896. Mission Hall (in Briston parish). Railway Works for Midlands &Great Northern Railways, and early concrete factory. Station had Lord Hastings' own waiting room.
Inn is the Hastings Arms and original school. Station and gasworks demolished for telephone exchange 1971; rest remains
Conservation Area description in file which also states that two engine sheds survive.
E. Rose (NLA), 9 February 1996.

The water tower remains and is an important example according to [1].
E. Rose (NLA), 31 May 1996.

According to ref (S1) the mission hall mentioned is the original 1884 station from Holt.
E. Rose (NLA), 25 July 1996.

Visited on guided tour on North Norfolk Railway gala day 27 February 1999.
Melton Street is built of different colours of bricks and the end houses (much altered) project, being those of the foreman etc. There are cobbled back alleys. The school (intact but disused) is dated 1896. The Institute was extended up to the road in 1912 with terracotta name. The war memorial is of concrete made at the Works in 1918. The mission hall mentioned by ref (S2) is not the same as the one in Briston parish; it was indeed used as Holt station, and later as Yarmouth Beach station, was moved here as an apprentices' school and is now a Brownie hut next to the Institute.
The Hastings Arms is now a house and its stables were demolished 1998. The gasworks has gone but the bowling green survives. The engine shed collapsed in 1947. In Hindolveston Road the ramp to Lord Hasting's platform survives as the does the works gate. The water tower, of cast iron segments, is of 1896-8 and served both town and works, and was bombed in World War II. The turntable was built over in recent years and the concrete works has gone but a concrete building of 1910 used by coppersmiths survives. Part of an internal 2ft narrow gauge railway remains. The two original works buildings mentioned above are the erecting shop and carriage and wagon works which retain original roofs.
E. Rose (NLA), 1 March 1999.

For the water tower, see (S2).
E. Rose (NLA), 7 February 2004.

Monument Types

  • ENGINEERING WORKS (19th Century to 21st Century - 1850 AD to 2100 AD)
  • INN (19th Century to 21st Century - 1850 AD to 2100 AD)
  • RAILWAY (19th Century to 21st Century - 1850 AD to 2100 AD)
  • RAILWAY TRANSPORT SITE (19th Century to 21st Century - 1850 AD to 2100 AD)
  • SCHOOL (19th Century to 21st Century - 1850 AD to 2100 AD)
  • TOWN (19th Century to 21st Century - 1850 AD to 2100 AD)
  • WAR MEMORIAL (19th Century to 21st Century - 1850 AD to 2100 AD)
  • WATER TOWER (19th Century to 21st Century - 1850 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG 0432A-C, D-F, TG 0433H-L,R,S, TG 0433H-L.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1990. Bid to preserve rail heritage. 30 November.
---Photograph: JJM 32-36.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. When all tracks led to Melton. 6 April.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1991. Memories of those platform souls.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. The thriving railway village that just ran out of steam. 27 March.
<S1>Article in Serial: Tuddenham, E.. 1964 June. The MGNR Route to Cromer.. Railway World.
<S2>Monograph: Barton, B.. 2003. Water towers of Britain and their part in bringing water to the people.. pp 132-133.

Related records - none

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