Record Details

NHER Number:4335
Type of record:Building
Name:3 and 4 South Quay


No. 4 South Quay is an Elizabethan house. One of the internal rooms retains panelling dating to 1596. The drawing room has 16th- or 17th-century panelling, a royal Stuart coat of arms above the fireplace and a plaster ceiling. There are 17th-century cartouches on the staircase. Bits of the kitchen may be medieval, although may have been reset more recently. No. 3 was originally a courtyard range belonging to No. 4. It also contains 17th-century panelling and an 18th-century staircase. The two houses were formed into one unit when a Georgian white brick facade was built across both in 1809. A detailed survey of the houses carried out for the National Trust suggested that the structure incorporates an earlier medieval 'Row' (street). The houses are owned by the National Trust and open to the public as The Elizabethan House Museum.


  • No image caption available  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TG 5234 0736
Map Sheet:TG50NW

Full description

3 and 4 South Quay.

June 1953. 4 South Quay Listed, Grade I.
Listing Description excerpt:
"House, now museum. Built as a smaller house in 1596 for Benjamin Cooper, expanded into a courtyard house (in addition to No.3) 1603-10. Alterations early 18th century, refronted early 19th century, restored 1833. Gault brick façade, red brick elsewhere. Pantiled roofs.
EXTERIOR: facade of two and a half storeys in six-window range. Panelled door under an overlight with a porch supported on a air of Roman Doric columns...First-floor windows with iron balconies. Gabled roof with a ridge stack to left of centre. Round arch to right leads to Row 83. South return along Row 83 of two storeys and dormer attic. Red and yellow brick...Arched staircase window. Mansard roof with three mid-20th-century sloping dormers. East gable rebuilt by National Trust after 1943.
INTERIOR: entrance hall with large-framed panelling of c.1730. South front room sub-divided in 19th century, but retains cruciform bridging beams with sunk-quadrant mouldings. Dining room to north with small-framed panelling with reeded and fluted Ionic pilasters. Oak chimney-piece with a three-bay arcaded overmantel and initials and date: C over B A (Benjamin and Anne Cooper). Storeroom to east has one unfluted Ionic column which represents only remains of an open courtyard loggia. Staircase of 1809...and a Chinese-pattern late 18th-century dog gate. Kitchen in rear wing with small-framed panelling and, in the north wall, a 13th-century double trefoiled aumbry taken probably from the Greyfriars [NHER 4297]...Rear kitchen further east with sunk-quadrant bridging beams. Drawing room on first floor at front. Continuous arcaded panelling with fluted pilasters. Chimney-piece with two tiers of paired Corinthian columns, at the upper level framing three arcaded panels. In the centre the Arms of James I. Plastered ceiling of c.1600...Room to north with small-framed panelling and an early 17th-century chimney-piece: three arcaded panels separated by reeded and fluted Corinthian columns. Initials C over B A. Upper rear corridor with two three-light 17th-century cross casements with roundels of painted Flemish glass dated 1612. Roof with arched braces to tie beams, two tiers of butt purlins, curved windbraces and plain collars."
Information from (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current listing details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 12 March 2022.

June 1953. 3 South Quay Listed, Grade II.
Listing Description excerpt:
"House. 1596, converted to municipal offices in 1989. Built for the merchant Benjamin Cooper as part of No.4, divided into 2 properties C18. Until then the rear wing formed part of the courtyard of No.4 added in 1603-10. The courtyard remains, greatly altered. Early 19th-century gault brick façade under a roof of black-glazed pantiles.
EXTERIOR: Three storeys; three-window range. Six-panelled door to the right set within panelled reveals under an open pediment on block Doric entablatures and engaged columns. Geometric fanlight...first floor...wrought-iron balcony….Modillion eaves cornice and gabled roof. Internal gable-end stack to north. There is a long two-storey rear wing [with] hipped two-storey block abutting to the south. This block is the east block to the 1603 courtyard and has on its courtyard…
INTERIOR: integral with Nos 1, 2 & 2B [NHER 25433]. The passage from the front door has been removed. The staircase is mid 18th century...The rear wing has a 19th-century staircase…The rear wing has at the east end an office at the first floor with a bridging beam decorated with double sunk quadrants and a fluted tongue stop. 18th-century fireplace also. The next room south at the first-floor level faces the courtyard. It has small-framed early 17th-century panelling and a fireplace with bulbous side pilasters. In a cupboard is re-used early 18th-century panelling."
Information from (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current listing details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 12 March 2022.

3 and 4 South Quay.
Georgian front on Elizabethan house. 1596 home of C. J. Palmer's father. Good panelled room of 1596 with pre 1800 Hanoverian royal arms added. Drawing room has 16th to 17th century panelling, royal Stuart arms, and plaster ceilings.
17th century cartouches on staircase. Medieval remains (reset?) in kitchen.
Compiled by E. Rose (NLA). Information from (S2).

This record also includes 3 South Quay which was originally the north courtyard range of No. 4. The façade is covered by a continuation of the same 18th-century white brick cladding. It contains 17th-century panelling on the upper floor and an 18th-century staircase.
Information from (S1).
E. Rose (NAU), 31 August 1989. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 12 March 2022.

Works suggest that the 17th-century panelling in the upstairs room does not belong to the house but was added in the 19th century.
Information from E. B. Green (NCM).

The stack in the room was repaired, and straight joins noted in the brickwork of the sidewalls, confirming that the house is of two periods.
Information from GYM.

Photographs (S3) and plans (S4) in file show that in fact the joins were where the partition wall containing the fireplace joins the side walls, showing that this wall is an insertion. The partition cuts a blocked window in the façade wall which predates the present façade and fenestration.
E. Rose (NLA), 9 December 1991 & 19 February 1992

1997. Building Survey.
Survey undertaken prior to proposed alterations to the fabric of 4 South Quay. Detailed recording enabled a developmental sequence to be established for the building, including the observation that that extant structure incorporates a former row.
See report (S5) for full details. The results of this survey are also summarised in (S6). According to (S5) it was Palmer who encased the house in white brick and altered the windows, in 1809.
E. Rose (NLA), 30 July 1997. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 17 February 2014.

As well as above mentioned survey by R. Smith No. 3 is included in (S7), his detailed survey of Nos 1 to 2 in file for NHER 25433.
E. Rose (NLA), 30 October 2001.

2008. Alterations.
A flexible ventilated dry line system is to be inserted within three ground floor rooms: the kitchen, the pantry and the lavatory. This is necessary to minimize the impact of chronic sea flooding and will allow modern decoration in the effected areas to be replaced with that appropriate to the historical setting.
See details in file.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 13 March 2008.

April 2009. No. 3 South Quay Road
Proposals to instal lead flashing to the front elevation, secondary glazing to all windows, installation of draught proofing system, replace existing pan tiles with reclaimed clay pantiles and minor internal plastering.
See (S8) and (S9) for further details
H. White (NLA), 7 May 2009.

The town house was built for Benjamin Cooper in 1596 as indicated on the dining room chimneypiece. There are internal alterations dating to c. 1730 and the façade dates to 1809.
See (S10).
S. Howard (NLA), 15 June 2010.

Monument Types

  • HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. [Illustration of Elizabethan House]. 2 March.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 510-512; Pl 72.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2008. A moment in time: to kill the king, 1648. 19 July.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. Elizabethan House museum faces closure. 29 October.
---Article in Serial: Carter, A. 1980. South Quay, Yarmouth. The Archaeological Journal. Vol 137 pp 306-307.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Post-Medieval. Yarmouth (Great).
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-East Norfolk and Norwich. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 150; Pl 55.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. So much history on old monastery site. 21 June.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entries 1271610 (3 South Quay) and 1271611 (4 South Quay).
<S2>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S3>Photograph: Bissonet, D.. 1992. Chimney Stack Repairs, 4 South Quay, Great Yarmouth.
<S4>Drawing: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Smith, R. 1997. 4 South Quay, Great Yarmouth. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 241.
<S6>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1998. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1997. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt I pp 193-210. p 198.
<S7>Unpublished Document: Smith, R.. 2001. Numbers One to Three South Quay, Great Yarmouth - Preliminary Report. March.
<S8>Unpublished Document: Flagship Housing Group Ltd.. 2009. Design and Access Statement, 1-3 South Quay, Great Yarmouth.
<S9>Designation: Listed Building Consent.
<S10>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. Historic building report for The Elizabethan House Museum, South Quay, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.. Building Report.

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