Bid to secure Bowthorpe’s heritage amid plans for hundreds of new homes

The ruins of St Michael's Church in Bowthorpe.

The ruins of St Michael's Church in Bowthorpe. - Credit: Archant © 2006

It's part of Norwich which, at first glance, does not seem the most obvious place for a conservation area.

But council bosses say there is a rich historical heritage in Bowthorpe and are asking for help in preserving that for future generations.

When many people think of Bowthorpe, they think of the hundreds of homes which were built in the 1970s, but at the heart of the estate is an area which is a link to the past.

The conservation area there, designated by Norwich City Council in 1983, is an area centred on the historic buildings of Bowthorpe Church, the ruins of which remain and the 17th century Bowthorpe Hall, with the wider parkland of Bowthorpe Hall to the east.

The city council is carrying out a conservation area appraisal with the goal of helping to protect, manage and enhance the historic surroundings.

One of a string of such appraisals which have been taking place in Norwich over the past few years, the appraisals establish the most important characteristics for the areas.

And they come up with the best way to protect those characteristics – something which will become particularly important in Bowthorpe given thousands more homes are due to be built there as part of the long-delayed development of the Three Score site.

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As part of that proposed development the historic parkland is due to be 'enhanced', including improving paths, fixing railings, replanting missing trees and possibly a wild flower meadow to the south of the hall.

Council officers say that any enhancement of the lanes and paths should respect the more rural character of that part of Bowthorpe.

They also say that the large pylons which 'dominate' the landscape to the south of the conservation area could be removed and placed underground as part of the Three Score plans.

Chris Bennett, conservation and design officer at City Hall, said in his report: 'The historic buildings and parkland that constitute the conservation area provide an important link to the historic settlement and its rural past. Additional community facilities such as the Worship Centre, community garden and community workshops in former agricultural buildings, mean that the area is still very much at the centre and heart of the wider local community.'

The city council is looking for people's views on the draft version of the appraisal, which is available online at

There will also be an exhibition at City Hall from today until Friday, July 12. It will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm on the first floor landing.

The consultation period runs until Monday, July 29.