Estate lodge, dating from c.1879, of knapped flint with limestone dressings.
Reason for Listing
The South Lodge to Cromer Hall including entrance gate piers and boundary walls, Hall Road, Cromer, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: South Lodge is a well-preserved and architecturally distinguished example of late C19 country estate architecture believed to be the work of the architect David Brandon, who is known to have worked at Cromer Hall and other Norfolk country estates.
* Completeness: South Lodge has undergone little external alteration, and retains its entrance gate piers and flanking boundary walls. This ensemble appears to survive in a condition close to its original form, and in a rural setting, as originally intended.
Cromer had some prosperity as a fishing town in the medieval period, as evidenced by the large and fine Church of St Peter and Paul (Grade I, listed in 1950) still dominant in the townscape. The fortunes of Cromer and its church diminished, however, and Cromer is said to have become little more than a village surrounding its crumbling church, until the late C18 fashion for sea bathing saw an upturn in its fortune. According to the Cromer Preservation Society, bathing machines were being advertised for use in Cromer by 1779. Cromer was for many years a small but exclusive resort, favoured by a circle of rich Norfolk families including the prominent banker, Quaker and philanthropist John Gurney. It was a watering place of some fashionable standing, being mentioned favourably in Jane Austen’s “Emma” in 1814.
Throughout most of the C19 the fashionable few in Cromer rejoiced in its isolation – according to a town guide from 1841, as quoted by the Cromer Preservation Society: “Its undisturbed quiet has rendered it a paradise for the clergy and old ladies whose never-failing theme of mutual congratulation is the difficult access which saves them from being over-run by excursionists.”
Cromer’s isolation was to end when the first railway station opened in 1877, but it was some way out of the town, so it was the opening of the second station, “Cromer Beach Station” in 1887 which had the greatest influence on Cromer’s development. Following this, investment and development in the town soared, and a large number of buildings surviving in Cromer today date from this period, defining much of Cromer’s present day character. Some of Cromer’s most prominent buildings date from the period including the flamboyant “Hotel de Paris” on the seafront, (listed at Grade II in 1977) built in 1894 as a remodelling of some earlier buildings; one of many buildings in the town designed by architect George Skipper. The sea front was remodelled and the sea walls and promenade (both listed at Grade II in 2003) were built at the very end of the C19, by London engineers Douglass and Arnott. In 1899-1901 the pier was built (listed at Grade II in 1975), with the Pavilion Theatre added to it in 1905.
New buildings have continued to be built in Cromer throughout the C20, as it continued to be a popular resort in the summer months, though no period has seen a repeat of building on the same scale as the end of the C19.
To the south-west of the town centre lies the Cromer Hall estate. Cromer Hall was erected in circa 1829. In the late C19 the Bond Cabbell family, owners of the estate, initiated a number of estate building projects including the construction of new lodges at the north and south entrances to the estate on Hall Road. They are believed to have been designed by the architect David Brandon who is known to have worked on a number of Norfolk country houses, including Cromer Hall. Brandon designed Chesterfield Villas and Chesterfield Lodge; a terrace of houses and a detached house on West Street in Cromer which were completed in 1879. South Lodge shares many of the details and the palette of materials of the West Street houses and therefore appears to date from circa 1879. It survives relatively unaltered externally, with a small, single-storey, C20 lean-to rear extension, and remains in residential use.
Materials: South Lodge is built of knapped flint with ashlar limestone dressings. It has a plain-tile roof covering and incorporates tall, brick chimney stacks with ribbed shafts and corbelled caps. The gables are embellished with decorative timber barge boards carried on short curved braces, and the apex to the principal south gable has decorative timber-framing.
Plan: the building is L-shaped on plan, a taller principal range aligned east-west, with a lower wing extending to the south.
Exterior: the building is designed in a Tudor Gothic style, with steeply-pitched roofs and chamfered, mullion and transom windows. The main range is of two storeys, with two and three-light windows, with flush stone surrounds and casement frames. The gable apex has square framing with shaped diagonal bracing to the base section above a brattished storey beam. On the east elevation, at the junction of the main and subsidiary ranges is a single-storey gabled porch with transomed two-light windows to each side wall, the windows with cusped lights. At the south end of the south wing is a wide canted bay window set beneath a steeply-pitched roof.
The Lodge is approached through an entrance gateway flanked by tall gate piers of ashlar limestone, each with knapped flint inset panels and a moulded cornice, above which is set a seated lion bearing a shield with the Bond Cabbell coat of arms. Extending from the piers are low, flanking walls of flint with red-clay copings, that to the east curving round to define the road frontage. The wall is depicted on the map as an offset line, and the square gatepiers are depicted as circles.
Interior: access to the interior of the building has not been allowed.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.