Record Details

NHER Number:4300
Type of record:Building
Name:The Custom House, South Quay


An 18th century house, built in 1720 for John Andrews, the largest herring merchant in Europe. The house became a Customs House in 1802. The house contains an 18th century staircase, and wood panelling in some of the rooms.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 5240 0723
Map Sheet:TG50NW

Full description

Custom House.

August 1974. Listed, Grade II*
Listing Description excerpt:
"House. 1720. For John Andrews, a very important herring merchant. Bought 1802 by H.M. Government for use as a Custom's House, sold 1986 to Port of Yarmouth Commissioners. Red brick laid in Flemish bond with stone quoins and dressings. Slate roof. Single-pile plan.
EXTERIOR: three storeys on a basement; eight-window range in all. Central double doors occupying two window bays with an early 19th-century porch on a pair of Greek Doric columns. Basement and all other windows under segmental stone arches with keystones...Parapet partly conceals shallow-pitched gabled roof. Pair of stacks on rear wall plane. To right and left of façade is a narrow bay with an arched entrance to Row 103 (north) and Row 104 (south)...Rear with a two-storey outshut and a two-storey gabled rear extension.
INTERIOR: entrance hall with large-framed panelling to north side. Open-string staircase with three balusters per tread...Main north room on ground floor has a bolection-moulded fireplace and large-framed panelling all round. Corresponding south room with an 18th-century rosette and dart surround to the 20th-century tile fireplace. Large-framed panelling and a moulded cornice. North attic room with re-used 17th-century small-framed panelling. 19th-century roof of common rafters, a purlin and collars.
Information from (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current listing details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 14 March 2022.

Built as private house for John Andrews, the largest herring merchant in Europe.
Listed as mid 18th century, but [1] has found a reference to the building being completed in 1702, when Andrews
applied for permission to build a flight of steps to the front door on the public highway; and was refused because he was in dispute with the Corporation, being told that he would have to use a ladder to get into his doorway 'as the Friends do at their meeting house'! The building was acquired by HM Customs in 1802.
Compiled by E. Rose (NAU) 7 June 1983. Information from record card (S2).

Listed as II*, see (S1), but dates building to 1720.
Brick, panelled parapet, rusticated stone quoins. Central part 3 storeys and basement, 6 bays; side attachments 2 storeys, 2 bays (one of which is archway in each attachment). 18th century sashes with stone heads. Basement windows
blocked, top storey smaller. Central Tuscan portico is 19th century addition; has Victorian royal arms. 18th-century staircase and some good panelling ground and first floors.
Compiled by E. Rose (NAU) 20 December 1985. Information from record card (S2).

Monument Types

  • HOUSE (18th Century to 19th Century - 1720 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CUSTOM HOUSE (19th Century - 1802 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF796.
---Drawing: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 50 NW 46.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 513-514.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. Who fancies the keys to two quayside landmarks?. 14 October.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Post-Medieval. Yarmouth (Great).
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2014. Last chance for Custom House. 18 October.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2015. Developer ordered to repair building. 27 January.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1245800.
<S2>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.

Related records - none

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