Hardley Hall

Hardley, Norfolk, United Kingdom
GBP|1850000GBP £1,850,000USD $2,448,013
MLS NOR170038
Web code RHPP
Status Active

Listed By

Key Details

6500 M2
Total Beds
Full Baths
Lot Size (M2)


A substantial and historic country house with delightful gardens, grounds and outbuildings with an extensive range of farm buildings available to let by separate negotiation. Historical Note A hall has stood in Hardley Hall’s location from Saxon times. The site, on a rise overlooking the River Chet, was chosen due to its natural defensive location, and its position being easily reached by boat. The present Hardley Hall was built in about 1530 on land owned by the Abbey of Langley and the Convent of St Benet of Holm. Before the conquest Wilfric was the Saxon Lord of the Manor, and...

the Doomsday survey the manor was valued at 30 shillings. The de Caldecote family were the initial tenants of the Abbey of Langley, and Thomas Paston was given the manor at the dissolution of the monasteries. In 1543 the manor passed to Thomas Godsalve of Norwich and William Drake acquired the manor from Sir John Godsalve in 1554, and it remained in the Drake family and their relative and descendants, the Playters, for nearly 150 years. Drake Playter is remembered by a heraldic brass near the altar table in St Margaret’s Church, Hardley. Talmash Playter sold Hardley Hall to Sir William Cook of Brome Hall who in 1697 gave it to Thornhaugh Gurdon who married Cook’s fourth daughter. Gurdon was Receiver-General of Norfolk in the reigh of Queen Anne. Hardley was later conveyed to Sir Lambert Blackwell and in 1742 it passed in to the ownership of the Beauchamp family who were landlords until recent times. The current owners have resided at Hardley Hall since 1985. The Property Hardley Hall is a substantial Grade II* Listed country house set in an elevated position overlooking surrounding farmland and countryside. The house has some distinctive Tudor and Elizabethan features, and is mentioned extensively in Nikolaus Pevsner’s Buildings of England. The Hall is built of flint and brick with stone dressings and on the west end there is a pattern of diapered brickwork, which was used extensively by the Tudor builder. The house has superb Tudor octagonal chimneys and Nikolaus Pevsner describes the stonework around the doorway and the heavy oak door opening into the dining hall as Pre-Reformation. The porch is believed to be Elizabethan and there are some initials cut in relief in the spandrills of the arch consisting of two sets of initials, W M, whilst the origin is not known for certain, the love knots are probably related to the marriage between William Drake (died 1584) and Margaret Reade. The wonderful window surrounds of the 1530 period survived and also of particular note is the wonderful Tudor fireplace in the dining room/reception hall. There is a small inscription in the fireplace relating to the Goddard family in 1962 who were tenant farmers. In the flue above and to the right of the fireplace an old spit and fire irons were found which are now in Norwich Castle Museum. The charming and simple oak staircase is original and 16th Century work is evident in the posts at the head and foot of the staircase. A Tudor fireplace in the south wall of the main bedroom also remains. This has a four centred arch from about 1580 with Tudor roses carved in shallow relief in the spandrills. Hardley Hall has a pantile roof, however it may well have been thatched with local reed in earlier days. There is also an underground passage which is understood to lead to the Church. There are wonderful ceiling heights throughout Hardley Hall and principal rooms, the drawing room, with its panelling and fireplace along with the panelled study are particularly atmospheric. The current owners have restored and refurbished Hardley Hall in an extremely sympathetic way, however the house now provides very comfortable flexible accommodation over three storeys. There are fine views from all of the bedrooms, and on the top floor is the large club style entertaining room with a bar, television area and games area. Also on the top floor is a superb dressing room with bespoke cabinetry and extensive hanging space. At the eastern end of the house is the substantial kitchen/breakfast room with a large pantry, along with the utility and boot room. There is good access to the garaging and parking area at this end of the house. Hardley Hall also has a wonderful cellar, with extensive wine racking and is particularly atmospheric. This property has 2.65 acres of land. Outside Hardley Hall is approached via a private roadway, leading to the driveway ending in a gravelled turning area in front of the house. The private roadway also leads to the parking and garaging to the side of the house. To the east of the property is a range of farm buildings, in separate ownership, which could be available to let by separate negotiation. These could provide additional stabling, storage and have existing office space for those wishing to work from home. Please speak to the agent for more details. The outbuildings lie to the south of the house and provide stabling, centred around a courtyard with numerous stores and one extremely large barn suitable for a variety of uses. This area has had planning permission, which has now lapsed, for conversion to a swimming pool complex with associated facilities. Due to this permission being granted in the past, there is an opportunity to use these buildings for a number of uses subject to necessary consents. Hardley Hall has splendid gardens and grounds with a number of areas suitable for outside dining, and with charming views over the mature gardens. There is a wide range of broadleaf and coniferous trees, some of which are wonderful specimens, and extensive flower beds and shrub borders broken up by mature hedging and well stocked herbaceous borders and beds. Of particular note is the rose garden to the south of the house which is divided from the parterre by beech hedging. There is also a charming greenhouse with wonderful views back towards the house and a poly-tunnel with a grapevine. There is south facing Wisteria on the Tudor brick and flint work to various sections of the garden which offer wonderful privacy and seclusion. Further to the south a ménage and a post and rail paddock.

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