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© Mr Simon Marjoram

IoE Number: 282307
Photographer: Mr Simon Marjoram
Date Photographed: 22 June 2006
Date listed: 01 September 1953
Date of last amendment: 01 September 1953
Grade I

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SOUTH ELMHAM ST. CROSSTM 38 SW4/47South Elmham Hall1.9.53

SOUTH ELMHAM ST. CROSS TM 38 SW 4/47 South Elmham Hall 1.9.53 GV I Manor house. C16, with substantial medieval remains inside. 2 storeys; attics to part; L-shaped form. The north-south range, in rubble flint with some freestone, is mainly rendered; plaintiled roof with C19 ornamental ridge- tiles; pierced and fluted bargeboards and a spike finial to the north gable; an internal chimney-stack with sawtooth shafts on a rectangular base. The east-west range is in Tudor red brick with some diapering on the ground floor, timber-framed and rendered above; the west gable wall is in red brick, crow- stepped, and incorporates a chimney-stack; plaintiled roof with decorated ridge-tiles, apparently C17. Both ranges have mainly early C19 3-light casement windows with transomes on the ground floor and cross-windows in similar style on the upper floor. The main entrance, on the north, has a C19 enclosed and gabled brick porch with plaintiled roof and carved bargeboards matching those on the north gable. The north-south range contains the medieval core of the building and is traditionally thought to be a palace of the early Bishops of Norwich: it may have been a first floor hall originally. The interior contains a number of moulded stone arches and doorways on the ground floor, all resited, of the C13 and C14. On the upper floor at the north end, 2 linked doorways with pointed arches are heavily weathered, and seem to have been originally in an external position. Above them, in the attic, the truncated remains of a 3-light stone-mullioned window with deep inner splay: this is the only decorative feature which seems to be in situ, and its reduction in height indicates that the building has been lowered. On the inner walls, to each side of the window remains, are small panels of c.1300 with a simple flowing design in red ochre, now very faint. A small band of similar decoration is exposed on the east side wall on the first floor, but this has been embellished at a later date, with added scrolls and colouring. The attics are high and spacious, and were reroofed in the C16: trusses with tall queen-struts morticed into cambered collars and supported by small solid brackets; the associated side purlins have wide, flat top surfaces and were intended to support the ends of joists for a cambered ceiling, now removed. The east-west range, which is all an addition of the C16, overlapping the older range at the east end, has a smaller version of queen- strut roof. The house stands at the southern corner of a large roughly rectangular moated site and is just within the parish boundary of St. Cross, South Elmham, although part of the platform of the moat is within the adjacent parish of St. Margaret, South Elmham. The belief that the See of Elmham, created in the C7, was centred here, the associated 'minster' and documentary evidence offs palace or house for the Bishops of Norwich in the C13, and perhaps earlier, make this site of particular interest. Roger de Skernyng, Bishop of Norwich, died at his manor house at South Elmham in 1278; a later bishop, Henry Despenser, was granted licence to crenellate his house at South Elmham in 1387. In 1540 the manor was granted by Henry VIII to Edward North, created Lord North in 1553. It seems to have been he who added the east-west range and reroofed the north-south range. Subsequently, the manor was granted to Sir John Tasburgh, and remained in the Tasburgh family until 1740.

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