British Listed Buildings

History in Structure

If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.

We need to upgrade the server that this website runs on. Can you spare a quid to help?.

South Elmham Hall, St Cross, South Elmham

Description: South Elmham Hall

Grade: I
Date Listed: 1 September 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 282307

OS Grid Reference: TM3071483216
OS Grid Coordinates: 630714, 283216
Latitude/Longitude: 52.3983, 1.3899

Location: St Cross South Elmham, Suffolk IP20 0PX

Locality: St Cross, South Elmham
Local Authority: Waveney District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP20 0PX

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument with a similar name, Moated Site and Associated Fishponds of a Bishop's Palace at South Elmham Hall, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This is probably the same structure or related to it in some way.

Explore more of the area around St Cross, South Elmham, Suffolk at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

TM 38 SW

4/47 South Elmham Hall

Manor house. C16, with substantial medieval remains inside. 2 storeys;
attics to part; L-shaped form. The north-south range, in rubble flint with
some freestone, is mainly rendered; plaintiled roof with C19 ornamental ridge-
tiles; pierced and fluted bargeboards and a spike finial to the north gable;
an internal chimney-stack with sawtooth shafts on a rectangular base. The
east-west range is in Tudor red brick with some diapering on the ground floor,
timber-framed and rendered above; the west gable wall is in red brick, crow-
stepped, and incorporates a chimney-stack; plaintiled roof with decorated
ridge-tiles, apparently C17. Both ranges have mainly early C19 3-light
casement windows with transomes on the ground floor and cross-windows in
similar style on the upper floor. The main entrance, on the north, has a C19
enclosed and gabled brick porch with plaintiled roof and carved bargeboards
matching those on the north gable. The north-south range contains the
medieval core of the building and is traditionally thought to be a palace of
the early Bishops of Norwich: it may have been a first floor hall originally.
The interior contains a number of moulded stone arches and doorways on the
ground floor, all resited, of the C13 and C14. On the upper floor at the
north end, 2 linked doorways with pointed arches are heavily weathered, and
seem to have been originally in an external position. Above them, in the
attic, the truncated remains of a 3-light stone-mullioned window with deep
inner splay: this is the only decorative feature which seems to be in situ,
and its reduction in height indicates that the building has been lowered. On
the inner walls, to each side of the window remains, are small panels of
c.1300 with a simple flowing design in red ochre, now very faint. A small
band of similar decoration is exposed on the east side wall on the first
floor, but this has been embellished at a later date, with added scrolls and
colouring. The attics are high and spacious, and were reroofed in the C16:
trusses with tall queen-struts morticed into cambered collars and supported by
small solid brackets; the associated side purlins have wide, flat top surfaces
and were intended to support the ends of joists for a cambered ceiling, now
removed. The east-west range, which is all an addition of the C16,
overlapping the older range at the east end, has a smaller version of queen-
strut roof. The house stands at the southern corner of a large roughly
rectangular moated site and is just within the parish boundary of St. Cross,
South Elmham, although part of the platform of the moat is within the adjacent
parish of St. Margaret, South Elmham. The belief that the See of Elmham,
created in the C7, was centred here, the associated 'minster' and documentary
evidence offs palace or house for the Bishops of Norwich in the C13, and
perhaps earlier, make this site of particular interest. Roger de Skernyng,
Bishop of Norwich, died at his manor house at South Elmham in 1278; a later
bishop, Henry Despenser, was granted licence to crenellate his house at South
Elmham in 1387. In 1540 the manor was granted by Henry VIII to Edward North,
created Lord North in 1553. It seems to have been he who added the east-west
range and reroofed the north-south range. Subsequently, the manor was granted
to Sir John Tasburgh, and remained in the Tasburgh family until 1740.

Listing NGR: TM3071483216

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.