Old – Trowse Newton Hall Ruins (photos and history)

It’s been overgrown for years, but a team of volunteers began to clear the site around the old Trowse Newton Hall. It’s got a fascinating history so I’ve attached some recent photos before and after the clearance, along with some history (courtesy of Joe Mason in his excellent blog).

I’ll start with something that gives you an idea of how the hall originally looked (taken from a display in the Barn, upstairs). I’m looking to find the original at the moment.

 

Trowse Newton Old Hall – As It was

Here’s what it looked like in 2017 before we began clearing the nettles and brambles!

The site before the volunteers got to work (under the guidance of Edgar the Ranger)

Hall Entrance Gate

Gate stonework

Main view (from car park)

1999 Restoration Work

Taken in the 1960s, love to know who is in the photo!

History

This ruin is near Whitlingham Broad. Whitlingham Broad is not a real broad any more than the University Broad at UEA is. They were both dug out as gravel pits in the late 20th century, whereas the proper Norfolk Broads were medieval peat diggings. This picture was taken before Whitlingham Broad existed and the surrounding area was a tranquil water meadow where bullocks were grazed in the summer months. Water meadows are still quite a feature of Trowse, because the low-lying land where the rivers Tas, Yare and Wensum all meet is suitable for little else. This is a parish of extremes however, as the steep hills between the church and the old hall are home to Norfolk’s only ski slope.

Trowse Newton Hall was originally a medieval foundation, a country retreat for the Priors of Norwich Cathedral Priory. It would have been a short voyage by rowing boat from the Cathedral and under the arch at Pulls Ferry to Trowse. After the Reformation the Hall was retained by the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral. By the middle of the nineteenth century it had become a farmhouse on the Crown Point Estate. The avenue of trees which leads from Crown Point Manor to Trowse Newton Hall was planted about this time. Later the Hall was reduced to a “picturesque ruin”, which is how you see it now.

Edward VII was entertained at Trowse on Monday 25th October 1909. After a day of official engagements in the city he took supper at Crown Point, a guest of the Colman family. Alighting from the train on the other side of the river he crossed on a pontoon bridge and was driven past the ruins of Trowse Newton Hall and along the avenue of lime trees. This was not the first Royal visit to Trowse Newton Hall; Edward III and Queen Philippa lodged there while visiting Norwich in 1335. A visit to Norwich by the King used to be a rare occurrence. None had taken place between 1671 and 1909, and before Charles II no reigning monarch had visited the City since Queen Elizabeth I.

Crown Point is named after a fortified town in New York State. It was where a battle took place during the French War in North America (The Seven Years’ War) which resulted in a British success. In command of the British troops was General Money, who later purchased the estate in Trowse which he called Crown Point to celebrate his victory. The surroundings of the ruins of Trowse Newton Hall were changed to marked degree by the development of Whitlingham Broad as a leisure facility. Whitlingham Lane was diverted and the nearby barn, part of the farmyard associated with the Hall, was converted to form a coffee shop for the visitors to the Broad. A car park was built adjacent the double avenue of lime trees near the Hall.