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:
- arranges winter talks and summer activities about churches and chapels, grand country houses, medieval guildhalls, schools and houses built in timber, flint, brick, and clay lump;
- publishes spring and summer newsletters for members;
- conducts research on houses and other buildings;
- offers opportunities for members to survey and study buildings;
- attracts funding for research and publications including Heritage Lottery and English Heritage;
- surveys houses at their owners’ request;
- maintains a data base of properties surveyed- over 300 reports currently
For information about how to join the Group go to membership.
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.
In July 2016 Adam Longcroft stood down as Chair of the NHBG. Adam's drive for ground-breaking research and the desire to publish results of the highest quality in the Group’s Journals earned the group prizes at National level as well as the recognition of other groups in the field. The database of properties that sits behind the website was also Adam’s idea initially. We all wish him well in his new post at Anglia Ruskin University and will try our best to continue his vision for the Norfolk Historic Buildings Group.
As a parting gift, the committee presented him with a pen and watercolour of Castle Acre Priory by David Yaxley, to remind him of Norfolk’s long history of special buildings.
Ian Hinton was elected by the AGM to replace Adam as Chair.
Research and Publications
New NHBG Project: Boulton and Paul (B&P) Buildings.
B&P manufactured a range of buildings for about a hundred years from the 1860s. These were manufactured in small sections for easy assemble and disassembly to be transported by railway and steam ship all over the British Isles and abroad.
NHBG is beginning a project to study the buildings in Norfolk produced by Boulton and Paul. Initially this involves:
finding out what information is available about the buildings at Norfolk Records Office, the Museum of Norwich at the Brideswell and elsewhere;
identifying existing buildings and recording them.
Members who are interested in getting involved in the project please contact Brendan at email@example.com or telephone 01603 260307
North Norfolk Pilgrimage Centre of Little Walsingham
After several years of surveying and recording buildings and documentary research, this project was published in 2015 as NHBG Journal Volume 6.
The study of the builgings and documentary evidence is placed in context by an examination of:
- the landscape archaeology of the town;
- an analysis of medieval pilgrimage;
- the role of the church and especially the Priory and Friary;
- Walsingham as a pilgrimage centre in a National and Regional setting;
- how the town was developed and how it has subsequently changed.
The Journal concludes with a fully illustrated gazetteer of the details of 70 buildings and a scientific analysis of the building materials of four buildings to compare with stylistic evidence.
- Dendrochronological analysis was unable to produce an exact date for the timber used. However, the dating sequences established will allow for dating in the future when more data for timber in this area exist.
- Radio-carbon dating gave a calibrated felling date of 1470-1495 from one of the samples.
Vernacular Architecture Group (VAG) provided a generous grant towards dendrochronology costs and The Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society (NNAS) contributed towards printing costs. Colour cover with 750 b&w images.
The volume is available for £8 to members of NHBG, VAG and NNAS and £12 to non-members. It is available for purchase at winter NHBG lectures or posted at a cost of £4 (it weighs over 1kg) - send a cheque for £12 (members) or £16 (non-member) to:
House in Walsingham High Street and a fine Crown Post roof
NHBG, c/o The Old Rectory, Barnby, Beccles NR34 7QN
NHBG lectures, activities and visits
The last session of the 2016/7 winter programme was on March 15th 2017- see Events.
Reminder of some 2016 summer visits.
Summer 2017 visits were announced in Spring Newsletter which was sent to members in early April.
These included Wiveton Hall is dated 1652 and 1653 on the front and back doors ie during the Commonwealth. It was greatly extended in 1908 by the architect Sir Guy Dawber using flint with brick dressings as in the 17th century house. Servants quarters and a ballroom were added. Photos of house and NHBG members enjoying a fascinating visit.
In June 2016 NHBG visited Brisley Hall (below left): a wonderfully complex building with two stair towers and inserted corridors and amazing ceiling brought from another house? Our last visit was to stonemason's guild with Master Mason Stephen (below right).
Winter lectures and summer activities are reported in NHBG's newsletters.
To find out more about NHBG and about becoming a member go to membership.