Heritage Category:
Park and Garden
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Norfolk (District Authority)
Keswick and Intwood
National Grid Reference:
TG 19424 04033


A manor house with walled gardens of C16 origins set in a diminutive mid C18 park.


The medieval manor house of Intwood was rebuilt by its new owner Sir Richard Gresham, some time before 1545. This house was, in turn, extensively rebuilt by his son, also Richard Gresham, around 1560. The house and associated gardens to the north and north-east are illustrated in a painting of c 1680 (Harris 1979). The property passed to William Gresham and subsequently to the Hobart family, in whose hands it remained until the end of the C18. The estate was then acquired by Joseph Salusbury Muskett, who in 1807 commissioned Arthur Browne to rebuild the house, on a slightly different site, incorporating part of the C16 fabric. During the middle of the C19 a small park was laid out around it. The substantial neoclassical villa was altered in the late C19 by J B Pierce for Clement Unthank, who had married Muskett's daughter and heir. The house was extended, refaced in red brick and given 'Jacobethan' details. During the C20 the estate passed through marriage from the Unthank family to the Darling family. It remains (1999) in private ownership.


LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING Intwood Hall lies c 4km south-west of Norwich, immediately to the south of the southern bypass, to the east of the A11 junction. Although close to the city and the road, the Hall and park face south and east across a rural landscape of well-wooded farmland. The park of c 20ha, with gardens of c 2ha, is roughly rectangular in shape with thick plantations along the north and west boundaries. To the south-east a hedge screens the road from the Hall and the park beyond is bounded by plantation woodland. The ground is virtually flat with a slight fall to the south-east. The Hall is located in the centre of the northern boundary on the highest ground and enjoys views across the park to the countryside beyond.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES The site is entered from the north-east corner past the c 1844 'Gothic'-style single-storey flint and thatch Lodge Cottage (listed grade II). The drive, lined with oak backed by yew and rhododendron, runs west through woodland and divides c 100m north-east of the Hall. The northern fork leads round to the stable yard whilst the southern fork sweeps past a mid C19 gazebo built in Elizabethan style with C16 materials c 60m east of the Hall, to arrive at the north front through newly realigned (1990s) garden walls.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING Intwood Hall is a C19 red-brick country house in the Jacobethan style. It is constructed in two storeys with a crenellated roof, mullioned windows and ornamental chimney stacks. The three-bay south front faces the park and has a central doorway, with a service wing to the east incorporating a late C20 orangery (added 1995). The four-bay north, entrance front faces the walled gardens, the main door projecting from the facade in a balustraded single-storey bay. A single-storey service wing projects to the west. The Hall incorporates fragments of the Tudor manor built by Richard Gresham in 1560 and more substantial remains of the neoclassical villa modelled by Arthur Browne for Joseph Muskett in 1807. The Jacobethan rebuilding in the late C19 was reduced to the east, west, and north in the mid C20 to create the house which survives today.

The stable yard lies to the north-west of the Hall, approached through a Victorian arched water tower on the north side, into an enclosed service courtyard created in the mid C19 from a range of older farm buildings (listed grade II).

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The gardens surround the Hall at Intwood and comprise five walled garden compartments (some listed grade II) built of red brick with partly crenellated tops, constructed over four centuries from the mid C16 onwards. From the north front the Entrance Garden is gravelled by the Hall with an axial path running north dividing box-edged lawns with topiary. The west wall is early C17, whilst the north wall is mid C17 with C19 coping. Below the north wall are deep herbaceous borders and the central path is aligned on an arched gateway leading to a second walled enclosure with pergolas and open gazebo, designed in 1994 by George Carter and Allen Peterson as a formal Rose Garden. The walls surrounding this garden are mid C19. To the east of the Entrance Garden is a third walled enclosure known as the Water Garden, its west wall being C16, the north terrace walls dating from the early C17, and the east wall from the mid C17. The late C20 layout incorporates gravel paths and box-edged borders with a lawn and central circular pool. A raised terrace walk with herbaceous planting runs along the north wall and has a central cascade falling into a rill which feeds the pool. A gazebo, C19 on a C17 base, stands at the east end of the terrace walk, the west end of which leads to steps returning to the Entrance Garden.

On the west front of the Hall beside the Orangery a late C20 pool garden has been laid out with flagstone floor and statuary. This is bordered on the south side by a low brick wall (late C20) which runs west to connect up to the walled kitchen garden enclosures. The south front leads onto a small terrace with steps down to a lawn bordered to the south by a ha-ha overlooking the park. To the west of the lawn is an area of late C20 mixed shrub and herbaceous planting in informal borders with paths leading into Lilac Plantation, a Victorian woodland pleasure ground which retains some of its yew-edged walks.

The east front of the Hall faces a sweep of lawn bordered to the east by the ha-ha. Mature cedars flank the curving entrance drive.

PARK Intwood has a small, well-treed park laid mainly to pasture and scattered with trees of mixed ages and species. A high proportion of the mature mid C18 timber is oak with plane, horse chestnut, and ash. A knoll on slightly raised ground to the south beside the road is more densely planted to direct the eye to either side of the knoll. The road which cuts through the park is hidden behind a hedge and beyond it the ploughed section of the park is backed by enclosing plantations which terminate the view from the Hall.

KITCHEN GARDEN The walled kitchen garden lies to the west of the Hall and comprises high red-brick walls to the north and east, a high flint wall to the west, and a low flint wall to the south. It is divided by gravel paths and box-edged borders filled with fruit and vegetables. C19 glasshouses survive on the north wall, together with one early C20 glasshouse. Beyond this enclosure to the west is a further enclosed area of land laid to grass and bordered to the south by the remains of an orchard, currently being removed to create a small lake (1999).


N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North-west and South Norfolk (1962), p 216 J Harris, The Artist and the Country House (1979), p 138 J Kenworthy-Browne et al, Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses III, (1981), p 145 J Garden History 11, (1991), nos 1 and 2, pp 67-9 Tom Williamson, The archaeology of the landscape park, BAR Brit Ser 268 (1998), pp 253-4

Maps Untitled estate map of Intwood Hall, 1729 (private collection) Intwood Hall estate map, c 1790 (private collection) W Faden, A new topographical map of the county of Norfolk, 1797 (Norfolk Record Office) A Bryant, Map of the county of Norfolk, 1826 (Norfolk Record Office)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1886 2nd edition published 1904 3rd edition published 1929 OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1913

Archival items The main collection of documents concerning Intwood are held in a private collection.

Description written: August 1999 Amended: October 2000 Register Inspector: EMP Edited: March 2001


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:
Parks and Gardens


This garden or other land is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by Historic England for its special historic interest.

End of official listing

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