Hidden-away mansion in Norfolk Broads could be revived after more than a decade of neglect

PUBLISHED: 08:28 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:13 12 March 2018

Salhouse Hall pictured in 2013.  Photo: Bill Smith

Salhouse Hall pictured in 2013. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2013

A hidden-away 16th century mansion in the Norfolk Broads could be given a new lease of life after more than a decade of neglect.

For the past 18 years, Salhouse Hall, off Hall Drive in Salhouse, has been sitting empty ever since its last tenant moved out in 2000.

But now, Lester Bayfield, of Hautbois Hall, near Coltishall, has lodged plans to transform the Grade II listed building.

It is understood that the property will be turned into a family home.

Proposals submitted to Broadland District Council seek permission to make alterations to the hall, and convert a barn into two holiday lets.

A heritage statement included with the application states that the hall is thought to originate from the middle of the 16th century.

It was acquired by the Ward family of Walcott in 1712 and purchased for the benefit of Robert Ward’s heir, Holt Robert.

But the heritage statement said it was Holt Robert’s second son, Richard Ward, who became the first Ward to live in the hall.

The building and its estate remained in continuous ownership of the family until 1955.

It is believed Richard Ward inherited the property from his father Robert after his death in 1843.

He made a series of alterations during the mid-19th century which transformed it into a Gothic style with pinnacles and castellations.

Today, the building is described as being “largely 19th century castellated brickwork”, with angle shafts, turrets and a porch tower.

Embattled turrets were added to the two front corners of the house in 1847.

“The hall was acquired by the Cator family in 1956 and it was last occupied by a tenant between 1980 and 2000, but has remained unoccupied since then,” the heritage statement said.

The latest proposals for the hall look to provide en-suite bathrooms to the existing five bedrooms, along with alterations to provide “a kitchen and breakfast family room” on the ground floor.

The plans state there are no proposals for any “major” changes to the external appearance of the hall, other than to “make good” any old or new internal openings.

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