Record Details

NHER Number:8297
Type of record:Building
Name:Hoveton Hall


Hoveton Hall was built in white brick in the late 18th or early 19th century. It has been ascribed to Humphrey Repton and Sons. There is a red brick service wing and stables. The extensive greenhouses include one built around 1813 and this was probably also designed by Repton. In 2008 a programme of building survey and test-pitting was conducted ahead of restoration work which was followed by a watching brief in August and September 2009 which indicated that the early 19th century glasshouse, which was later replaced in the early 20th century by the Messenger glasshouse, had undergone several phases of development including the insertion of double doors.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 3158 2004
Map Sheet:TG32SW

Full description

May 1979. Visit.
Late 18th/early 19th century.
Built after 1797 and before 1825. White brick. Garden front of nine bays, two storeys; three bay bow window with large three-bay tripartite window on ground floor each side. Entrance front has semicircular columned porch on a recessed bay between two projecting bays. At rear red brick stables with cupola.
E. Rose (NAU), 17 May 1979.

(S1) dates to 1809 to 1812, ascribed to Humphrey Repton and Sons who drew up two plans of which one was not carried out and the other lost. Explains that the tripartite windows are known as Wyatt windows and have Corinthian surrounds; porch is part Ionic part Doric. Red brick service wing. Interior has pair of Ionic columns in entrance hall; library has broken-pedimented shelves and Ionic pilasters; wrought iron cantilevered staircase in inner hall. Stables of same date also listed, three sides courtyard; central five bay two storey carriage house with pediment on projecting three central bays, connected to single storey stable wings.
Also listed is a mid 19th century wrought iron greenhouse to northwest.
E. Rose (NAU), 3 November 1986.

Norfolk County Council survey of greenhouse in file.
See (S2).

The greenhouse has been upgraded II* in 2000 on the basis that it is probably by Repton around 1812, extended by Messenger and Co in 20th century.
E. Rose (NLA), 8 November 2000.

(S2) and (S3) in file of two early 20th century greenhouses (not the Repton example).
E. Rose (NLA), 21 November 2002.

Permission granted for demolition of one of the 20th century greenhouses, said to be of 1937.
See file.
E. Rose (NLA), 26 November 2004.

The smaller 20th century greenhouse is to be restored and rebuilt at Telford, Salop.
E. Rose (NLA), 31 October 2005.

December 2008. Building Survey and Test Pitting.
Building survey of glasshouse and the excavation of three test pits. The earlier glasshouse has an overall length of 12.72m and a width of 4.72m.The roof is mono-pitched, set against a brick heat-retaining northern wall. A low brick wall finished with stone sills extends around the three remaining sides with iron posts extending upwards to cast- iron trusses. Entrance to the building is gained via doorways in the east and west walls. These doorways are iron with window lights set in the upper half beneath a gothic-style drop arches. The western doorway and elevation collapsed in 2000. a dummy chimney is located at the eastern end of the north wall to create symmetry with the collapsed western chimney. The interior of the building is dominated by two large rectangular raised flowerbeds in each of the northern corners. There is a large central floorspace accessed by narrow corridors in line with the two doorways on either side. Along the southern wall is a continuous brick and tile plinth, interrupted by the insertion of the later Messenger glasshouse in the centre. The brickwork that the plinth rests upon may have provided ventilation, as every other brick is omitted. A series of semi-circular vine holes leading down and out into the external flowerbeds are cut into the stone sills above the plinth. The northern wall is of soft red brick in an English bond that was originally plastered over. The floor of the glasshouse is tiled with original orangey-red tiles.
The heating system consists of a cast-iron pipe originating in the north-west corner and following the retaining walls of the northern flowerbeds. Much of it was enclosed beneath an iron grate set into a hollow space within the retaining wall itself. Where the pipe reached the eastern doorway it formed a U-bend and returned back into the boiler room. The building had been fitted with hot water pipes by 1907. To the north of the pipework, two parallel hollow spaces were incorporated into the retaining wall running east-west across the building. The function of these spaces could not be explained and it is possible that they may relate to an earlier phase of heating.
Large bolts arranged at intervals of approximately 2m were sunk into the northern rear walls in pairs, one above the other. These have previously been identified as relating to the opening of the roof lights.
To the east and west of the glasshouse two flaking walls, faced with yellow brick and topped with round coping stones, curved upwards to meet the northern supporting wall. Symmetrical doorways on either wall lead to storage buildings to the north. These curved brick walls seem to be later additions.
The Messenger glasshouse was 7.57m long and 4.2m wide. It has a shallow pitched roof of wood and glass. A low yellow brick plinth wall was used to build upon. Above the plinth wall the building is largely of wood and glass, with a single gothic- arched door in the centre of the southern gable to allow for external access, and square-headed double doors at the opening to the original glasshouse. Decorative iron braces have been used at angles between posts and trusses, and the original window operating gear is still in place.
The first test pit was located on the exterior of the eastern elevation or the original glasshouse and located a stone drainage channel crossing the threshold of the glasshouse doorway. The second test pit, located 1.42m west of the eastern entrance, revealed a mortar bedding for the current tile surface. The third test pit was positioned to the east of the south- western corner of the glasshouse, and revealed the foundations of the building. They were constructed of red brick for three courses, before forming an arch with a void beneath.
See report (S4) for further details. See also (S5) and (S6). The results of this work are also summarised in (S7).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2016.47).
H. White (NLA), 3 April 2009. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 17 May 2019.

August-September 2009. Watching Brief.
The watching brief was conducted during the dismantling of the glasshouse at Hoveton Hall as part of a programme of renovations. The excavations revealed that the southern wall of the earlier glasshouse constructed in the first quarter of the 19th century had undergone several phases of development including the insertion of double doors which were demolished to make way for the later Messenger glasshouse in the early 20th century.
See report (S8) for further details.
S. Howard (NLA), 24 June 2010.

Monument Types

  • ARCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (18th Century to 21st Century - 1750 AD to 2100 AD)
  • STABLE (18th Century to 21st Century - 1750 AD? to 2100 AD)
  • GLASSHOUSE (19th Century to 21st Century - 1813 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 3119A - C.
---Photograph: Buxton, A.E.. 2004. 20th century greenhouses at Hoveton Hall.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 572-573.
---Photograph: Buxton, A.E.. 2005. Greenhouses at Hoveton Hall.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Listing Notification. Notification. DNF5490.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England.
<S2>Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
<S3>Photograph: 2002. [unknown].
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Phelps, A. 2009. An Historic Building Survey and Test-pitting at Hoveton Hall, Neatishead, Norfolk. NAU Archaeology. 2019.
<S5>Photograph: Phelps, A.. 2008. MWB-MWD.
<S6>Slide: Various. Slide. 1-74.
<S7>Article in Serial: Gurney, D & Hoggett, R. 2009. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2008. Norfolk Archaeology. XLV Part IV pp 570-578. p 574.
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Phelps, A. 2010. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Hoveton Hall, Neatishead, Norfolk. NAU Archaeology. 2019b.

Related records

30514Related to: Hoveton Hall Park (Monument)
MNO1819Related to: Iron Greenhouse at Hoveton Hall NEATISHEAD (Revoked)

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