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Salhouse


Guest plesbit

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Perhaps one for the history lovers (I've put this in the wrong forum, if a mod could move it to the history forum or broads related chat I would be very grateful).

I was not sure whether to put this here or in the Pictures of the Broads forum as this is a technically a Broadland village but the pics are of parts that most boaters won't typically get to see.

As some of you may know back in 2006 I chose to make this village my home. I have to say, I didn't even know it existed prior to that. In fact when I had finished a day of house hunting and job hunting in Norwich, with nothing to do for the rest of the afternoon I decided to get myself on a train out to Wroxham so I could sit and watch the boats come and go instead. I found it mildly irritating that the 15 min train ride included a stop at Salhouse and when the train pulled into that station it was the first time I became aware that Salhouse was actually a place, not just a broad. I can only assume my ignorance was based on the fact that, as a hirer we had started from bases like Wroxham, Acle and Brundall and visited Salhouse but because the broad is cut off from the village it never occurred to me that a village might even exist. Now I call it home and the fact that it has a station (and trains that stop) is partly responsible for that.

The village is actually quite old - at least 1,000 years old and warrants a mention in the Doomsday Book, though it was called Salehouse or even Sallowes back then. Although Norfolk is not known for its hills the village is actually quite a way up, my house being somewhere in the region of 70ft above the river level, Some parts of the village are higher still. There are some quite old buildings in and around the school, some of which have changed form and function many times over the years. People who know The Lodge, a restaurant and bar some distance out of the village, may be interested to know that it used to be the vicarage in years gone by! The village also had a hall, first occupied in 1712 and there was a Squire of Salhouse. In the 19th century it was a key part of village life (the hall estate included Salhouse Farm) and the lawns of the hall were used in the summer for village fetes, the squires being keen supporters of village life. The Bell public house (where Team NBN competes on a Wednesday) dates from a similar time. There used to be a second pub, The Kings Head, in the village but this closed in the 1920's - roughly the same time as The Lodge opened in fact.

The oldest building is the church, built in the 1300's. It remains a mystery to this day why the church is so removed from the village rather than at the heart of it. But if you know the pathways, it is not hard to get to.

Anyway, after reading all the above and encouraged by the success of the thread on St Benets Abbey which seemed to interested people and had typically high quality input from Carol, I thought I would grab my camera and head off out to explore. My main aim was to locate the hall. After all, there is no hint of the hall in the village (that I knew of) and whatever function it may have fulfilled in the 1800's with a dedicated squire it has now disappeared from view. With no information about where it is and, having poured over Google Earth with only the vaguest of success, it was going to be interesting. Even the village website only has a picture of it from about 1900.

First stop was the church. Please click for higher res.

3950573665_377e9dfce7.jpg

A very old building, it is likely to have undergone some renovation in its life but I cannot work out what alterations have been made. But looking at the picture below it is clear that the tower and the roof do not line up as they might have done in the past (look at the where the roof meets the tower, you'll need to click for the higher res version though). The curious thing is that the walls on which the roof is built and the tower itself appear to have been built as one, so why the roof and tower do not line up properly is mystery to me.

3950577539_93f42a7a50.jpg

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I had my suspicions that it would not be far from the church to where the hall should be. Numerous searches on Google Earth were inconclusive, several possible locations could equally have been farm buildings. However, before setting off this time and in close consultation with all the pics I could lay my hands on off the internet I had been able to track down what I believed ought to be the real thing. There are lots of paths and bridleways skirting the village and cutting across the strips of farmland which surround it. Susan and I reasoned that the path going from the church to the railway station would be the closest route past the site.

So, on leaving the church we followed on a path skirting the fields over the road from the church and heading in the direction of Salhouse Station and the western end of the village. Susan had walked this path before and recalled seeing something which she had taken to be a bunch of fallen down old farm buildings. She thought, from Google Earth, that it might actually have been the hall. And sure enough, a little way down the track we could make out some run down buildings through the trees. Eventually we emerged at something of a clearing and it was clear that we had indeed found what was left of the hall and its grounds.

Unfortunately the hall faces the other way and is hidden from view by the outbuildings. These looked to be pretty much falling apart but from what we could see of the hall itself it appeared to be in quite decent nick. I'd love to have the opportunity to approach it from the front, across the sweeping lawns which used to be home to the village fetes, but alas it is private land so we had to contend with a distant view from the old public bridleway out the back.

3950582065_d2647069f4.jpg

This second view, from further along the path, is more zoomed out and shows the actual hall building in the background. If you look at the higher res version you can see that it appears to be in good nick.

3951365684_c59a76113e.jpg

More to follow.... if anyone is interested.

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Simon,

Take a walk down the track next to the pond on the bends, you can see the front of the hall, you can also see it across the fields from the road. It is a fantastic building, it has been on the Buildings at risk register for years,

I have walked round the side to the front, it seems dog walkers wander round there a bit too.

Broadland / Salhouse Boundary wall, gateway and barn to west of Salhouse Hall SALHOUSE A

Broadland / Salhouse Boundary walls to west and north-west of Salhouse Hall SALHOUSE A

Broadland / Salhouse Coach House at north-west corner of court-yard to Salhouse Hall SALHOUSE A

Broadland / Salhouse Salhouse Hall, inc Schoolroom & Animal Shelters in court-yard to north SALHOUSE E

Broadland / Salhouse Stables approx 30m NW of Salhouse Hall, inc boundary wall to south SALHOUSE A

https://online.norfolk.gov.uk/buildings ... 55ddi03m45))/Default.aspx

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Still can't get it to work Clive and I tried allsorts of permutations and even went back to the root site to search but no luck.

The following is a link to the aerial view on Flash Earth. There are tracks leading around the hall but when we looped back from the south we found the most obvious one was blocked and a large sign declared it private property so we steered well clear. If you believe one of those pathways on the link is a public right of way I'll gladly go and have a look.

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=52.68001 ... =0&src=msl

Interestingly, the Parish Council's own website only carries the exact same shot I took so it appears I am not the only "tog" (to use a Bruce-ism) that couldn't work out how to get near the hall on public land.

Sad to hear that it's on the at risk register. It sounds like you know something about it then?

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Got that, thanks. Sounds like the hall itself has been re-roofed so that's got to be good.

Any idea how you can get close to it from in front then? We walked down the track leading to Hall Drive but the trees block the view across the field which would show the front of the hall. Mind you, I took those pics in mid September so it may be that if the trees are deciduous the winter may offer a better view on the approach.

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Hi Simon

Just being my usual pendantic self, the Lodge was converted from a vicarage by the late (I believe) Tom Farrell who owned the Bure Court Hotel on the river in Wroxham. when it tragically caught fire and was destroyed, this was in the very early eighties. Tommy then bought the Lodge presumably with the insurance money and went on to make it an extremely successful business. He then sold it to the Bales family who at the time also owned the Broads Hotel, and maybe still do, they certainly still own the Lodge. This all happened in the eighties. Tommy went on to the Ber Street Gates Ber Street in Norwich and then retired to France where I believe he died recently.

Sorry I get a little carried away at times. cheers

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That isn't being a pedant Barry, that's being informative! As you can probably tell I live all this local history stuff. Maybe if I write to Mr Cater nicely (if I can find an address for him) I can get permission to do some photography on the site of the hall?

Clive the trouble with being bold is that I have seen the signs so I know I shouldn't be there so would have little excuse if the landowner was to find me and take exception.

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It remains a mystery to this day why the church is so removed from the village rather than at the heart of it

I was going to suggest that it might have been down to the plague (black death) when many settlements around churches were abandoned and moved because villagers didn't want to be in the vicinity of the graveyards where the bodies were buried .... this happened in our village. However, having just read the history of Salhouse on the village website, it seems that this isn't thought to be the case!

Re: Salhouse Hall - it seems that there are/were plans to redevelop it into housing. The Cator & Co website lists it amongst their projects:

http://www.catorandco.com/cc/projects.htm

Link to PDF of Broadland District Council notes on a planning meeting which took place in November 2007 which outlined the proposals:

http://www.broadland.gov.uk/images/Salhouse_Hall_minutes_of_meeting.pdf

You may have already found this, but the Norfolk Heritage Explorer has more information about the building itself:

http://www.heritage.norfolk.gov.uk/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MNF8498

Carol

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Thats fair enough, It was about 5 years ago when I was there, no signs, you are right, and you would look like a muppett if questioned as to why you could not read :oops:

As for the church, would it be something as simple as it being on the top of a hill?

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Fascinating thread, and such a shame there's not a legal way to take a pic of the front of the Hall, maybe the farmer who owns it may grant permission for a picture ?

Simon, have you see the old entrance from Salhouse Road ? It would have been the main entrance with trees each side of the drive.

Ahh its owned by Mr Cator....

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Yes. I had seen something indeterminate from the Salhouse road long ago and never really understood what it was. An orphaned gate building, obviously quite old and overgrown with vegetation. I hadn't really connected it to anything, just squirrelled it away in my mind and given it no further thought.

I didn't have the opportunity to continue this thread as I had intended earlier on and now it's been opened to the floor for more discussion - which is obviously what I wanted but it does mean the thread has diverted a little from my photographic wandering. We came back in a loop around the front of the hall and I took pictures of the old avenue. I've used that path often enough to get to the railway station but it was only on that walk and after extensive use of Google Earth that things started to fall into place.

Now that we'd positively identified the location of the hall and, following on from the St Benets thread where a whole load of things became obvious using the aerial views, we figured out where the avenue up to the hall had been and it didn't take long to trace it back to Norwich Road. And then, of course, it dawned on us that the mysterious ruined gates must therefore once have been the entrance to the hall grounds. If you look on the previous Flash Earth link I posted for Clive you can trace the run from the hall down to Norwich Road easily enough. The pathway between the two halves of the village crosses what would once have been the avenue. At the intersection of the paths we stopped and looked up the rest of the way to the front of the hall but that's where the "Private" sign halted us and I think there might even be a gate across the track. Even if there isn't the sign is clear enough.

Carol, a goldmine of information as always. I had not really seen any other links with information on the property before. I had Googled it on a previous occasion but all I could come up with was odd references to it here and there on conservation and restoration grounds. Admittedly I was mostly looking for up to date pictures at the time so probably did not take as much notice as I could have done of the content of the text.

The development links were very interesting. Obviously the best solution would be to find someone who would buy it and restore it and live in it but I can't see that happening and presumably nor can the landowner. What is being proposed sounds like the next best thing as it will rescue all the buildings and from the outside it should look little different than it does now.

The pictures then. As you approach from the west you are greeted by this field. The run of trees down the far side of the field is what I now know was once the avenue leading up to the hall. The pathway connecting east and west Salhouse can be seen to the left of the shot.

3950601707_54912fb5ff.jpg

At the far end of the field the avenue and the pathway cross each other and this is the view looking down the avenue towards Norwich Road (known locally as "the Salhouse road").

3951392034_d32a75652b.jpg

Interestingly, in the link provided by Carol the preferred option of the developers and the Highways Agency was that the principal access to the new residential dwelling proposed at the hall would be this route. Anyone looking at the Flash Earth aerial view will notice that there is now an alternative route in from Bell Lane along Hall Drive. The picture was taken exactly where X marks the spot in this link:

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=52.67568 ... =0&src=msl

I might have a wander down the avenue and have a closer look one of these days. North of that point on the path towards the hall it is clearly marked private but there is no sign which suggests that you cannot proceed down the avenue towards the main road - after all, there's not actually anything down there! I might even get a proper look at those gates which isn't really possible from the main road as stopping on that road is a potentially terminal mistake!

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  • 1 year later...

It was really nice to find someone else that shares an interest with Salhouse Hall. I knew the last occupier of the hall, a Nigel Irving whom lived there for twenty years between 1980 and 2000. He used the hall for the sale and auction of antique furniture as well as his home during those years of occupancy so I had what I consider to have been the great privilege of being able to spend a considerable amount of time within the building and beautiful walled ornamental gardens. Even though the house is not massive it had a labyrinth of rooms and monk holes one of which was between the kitchen and cellar that I was told James I had hidden for a period of time.

I could go on for a great deal about this house which within its walls had an almost tangible atmosphere of history about it. It seems to me such a huge shame that it now stands empty and almost derelict in its deserted state. The beautiful walled garden has been neglected for so long now that its high walls which surround it are literally being pushed down by the trees and bushes that have been left unhindered to grow out of control.

It really does break my heart to see Salhouse Hall in this neglected state, because it deserves so much more. If I had the resources that the current owner has It would not be the way it is now!

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