The Norfolk Historic Building Group (NHBG) was founded in 2000 to bring together people who enjoy and appreciate old buildings and want to learn more about them. The Group:

For information about how to join the Group go to membership.  
For NHBG Privacy Policy click here.

To explore current activities and issues relating to historic houses go to NHBG Facebook group  (click on icon at top right) and/or Twitter page https://twitter.com/NHBGroup. These give information about current talks. 

Diane Barr has put together information about documents used to research the history of a building, most recently a piece about Land Tax Assessment. See the Sources page

NHBG lectures, activities and visits 

Unfortunately, NHBG's Summer 2020 & 2021 visits and events had to be cancelled. The programme of visits for summer 2022 was sent to members in Newsletter No 45.

In April 2022 NHBG finally welcomed Vernacular Architecture Group members to Norfolk. The visit was delayed by two years and eventually happened as a mix of virtual and live visits. The zoom visit consisted of a series of six talks on aspects of vernacular architecture of Norfolk. These were:

Tom Williamson: Norfolk’s geology and landscape and their effects on the county’s vernacular architecture.

Ian Hinton: A ‘stills’ tour of two timber framed houses in South Norfolk

Jess Johnson: Some buildings in South Norfolk town of Diss

Dominic Summers: Two churches in Southern Norfolk

Anne Woollett: Smaller houses of Norwich

Chris King: Some 17th Century Norwich Merchants Houses.

These talks can be seen on VAG’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/VernacularArchitectureGroup

In addition Chris King’s fascinating book about Norwich houses Houses and Society in Norwich, 1350-1660: Urban buildings in an age of transition published in 2020 explores some of the issues raised in greater detail.

Andrea Kirkham’s talk on some Norfolk Wall paintings is not yet available.


The second – live- part of the visit was a self-guided tour of Kings Lynn following the map, plans and notes (above) provided by Ian Hinton, drawing on Vivien Parker’s 1971 book Making of Kings Lynn: Secular buildings from 11th to 17th centuries.

In May and June 2022 NHBG visited two houses in south  Norfolk, in Bunwell and Fritton. Both were complex buildings with many changes and developments- including the chimney stack. At both we were provided with excellent teas- many thanks to the owners of the houses.

    

   

Below is some information about visits in 2019 to give people a sense of our visits. Information about visits including those in previous years are regularly added to the Facebook Page (click on Facebook icon at top right of this page). 

Winter lectures have been zoom sessions available live to members and some available more widely via youtube. We extended the winter lectures into 2021 and winter 2022. The talks offer an opportunity to get close to some historic buildings even if you cannot meet up with others with a similar interest. Information about other 'historic buildings' talks are also advertised on Facebook Page. If you know of any events which might be of interest, please add them to the Facebook Page. For information about lectures go to Events

The last talk was by Owen Warnock on moated sites in South Norfolk. 

Summer Visits 2019.  
These included: a Churches Day starting at Beachamwell, a day exploring the stones used in Norfolk’s churches, starting at Halvergate church, a walk round the walls of Great Yarmouth; and around Bungay with a local historian prior to lunch and AGM, a visit to a C16 timber house and party and a visit to a house thought to be started in about 1500 and the church next door.

Photos from two of 2019 summer visits.
Discovering building stones: getting close to stonework at Wickhampton church, very close at Reedham. Quern stone amidst the flint at Halvergate church. 


  


NHBG members at Barton Bendish churches, May 2019. 


 

 


Research and Publications

Hempnall- Volume 7 of NHBG's Journal published in 2020. 

The result of many years of researching the documentary evidence and undertaking detailed work on 45 houses in Hempnall. The Journal provides an historic background to Hempnall and its houses and a detailed analysis of each of 45 houses. It considers the houses in relation to WG Hoskins’ theory of ‘The Great Rebuilding’ in the late C16 which argued that the old medieval style of open-hall houses gave way to houses with chimneys and floors throughout. The volume is 200 pages long, with over 800 colour photos, maps and measured drawings. 

It is now available to members for £8 per copy and £15 to non-members. It can be posted at a cost of an additional £4. To purchase a copy, email maggy6@btinternet.com or write to The Treasurer at 134 Yarmouth Road, Norwich NR7 0SB with a cheque made out to ‘NHBG’ and your address. 

The cover of Hempnall Volume and two Hempnall houses- 


 
 

  

Boulton and Paul (B&P) Buildings.

Boulton and Paul, a Norwich based company, manufactured a wide range of buildings for about a hundred years from the 1860s. These included large residences, bungalows, village halls, mission rooms, churches, hospitals, glasshouses, boathouses and revolving shelters. They were produced in small sections and transported all over the British Isles and exported abroad - including to Antarctica.

Five years ago, NHBG commenced investigating the survival of B&P buildings erected in Norfolk. Groundwork began with the Documentary Research Group searching through the Boulton and Paul archive kept at the Norfolk Record Office. The group had been photographing pages from over 100 catalogues and other related documents, when the project had to be put on hold due to the pandemic. Now the restrictions have been lifted the group hopes to recommence its research at the NRO and elsewhere. The next step will be identifying and recording buildings in Norfolk which are still standing.

  

  


Some B&P buildings discovered in Norfolk include: Mundesley Hospital (top left), 1908 catalogue entry for Mundesley Hospital (top right), a type B93 bungalow (bottom left), 1926 catalogue entry for the bungalow (bottom right).
     
Spotted recently in George Plunkett website (www.georgeplunkett.co.uk). A photograph of Tin Hut, Market Square Norwich which served as police station until it was demolished in 1938 when City Hall was opened and Market area was redeveloped. It features in the B&P catalogue for 1913. 
For more information see featured event.

Members who are interested in getting involved in the project please contact 
nhbgboultonandpaul@btinternet.com 

Little Walsingham. 
Volume 6 of NHBG Journal exploring the North Norfolk Pilgrimage Centre of Little Walsingham was published in 2015. 
 
   

  

Ian Hinton gave a talk to NNAS (Norfolk and Norwich Archaelogical Society) about Walsingham Project on Saturday November 4th 2019. NNAS provided support towards the publication of this Journal. For more information go to  NNAS site. 

Some photos of NHBG 2018 churches visit to Shelton, Bedingham and Fritton St Catherine.

  
 
2017 summer visits included a meeting with Lincolnshire Group at Walsingham (left) and Walk round Thetford (right). 


 


2016 summer visits included Wiveton Hall dated 1652/3 and greatly extended in 1908 by the architect Sir Guy Dawber, Brisley Hall a complex building with two stair towers and inserted corridors and a ceiling probably brought from another house and Norwich stonemason's guild.
  


 
  


Winter lectures and summer activities are reported in 
NHBG's newsletters.