Medieval undercroft known as the Guildhall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Medieval undercroft known as the Guildhall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Jul-2019 at 22:09:04.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Norfolk (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TG 02822 44076

Reasons for Designation

Medieval domestic buildings in Norfolk were commonly of timber frame construction, and the use of flint and stone in such a context was comparatively rare and generally confined to buildings of high status and the homes of the wealthy. Few such buildings are known to survive in this area, and those which do survive are therefore of importance and worthy of protection. Although the upper part of the building known as the Guildhall at Blakeney is no longer complete, the undercroft survives intact with original features and without any significant later alteration. It is a good example of a high status, urban medieval domestic building in flint and stone, with well preserved interior brick and stonework, and demonstrates the wealth and importance of Blakeney as a port during the medieval period.


The medieval building known as the Guildhall is set into the slope of Mariners Hill to the east of the High Street and facing the quay. The monument includes the rectangular undercroft of the building, measuring c.17m north-south by 7.6m east-west externally, and above the undercroft, the ruined remains of the walls of an upper storey. At the southern end of the east wall is a projecting rectangular structure measuring c.3.5m north-south by 2.2m east- west, which contains the remains of a garderobe shute from the upper level.

The walls of the building, which is also Listed Grade II* and has been dated to the 15th century, are constructed of flint with freestone dressings and some brick, including brick quoins at the north east angle and a brick lining to the garderobe shute, which issues through a arched opening with brick surround near the base of the east wall of the eastern projection. The undercroft is vaulted in brick with four bays to either side of a central row of octagonal stone columns which support the ribbed vaults. It is lit by three internally splayed windows with stone surrounds set in the east wall and is entered by a door with stone moulded jambs and arch head in the north wall. Three steps lead down to the cobbled floor, which is c.0.5m below the level of the ground surface outside. An arched opening in the southernmost bay in the east wall, now blocked, gave access to the lower part of the eastern projection. In the walls in each of the remaining bays along either side is a niche with pointed arch and brick surround.

Against the outer face of the north wall, flanking the door, there are two pads of mortared flint which perhaps supported a porch or buttresses.

The walls of the upper storey stand to a maximum height of 2m and the remains of the eastern wall include parts of the stone sills of three window openings and the brick and stone jambs of the opening to the garderobe chamber.

On the east side of the building, part of the foundation of the wall is exposed, the original ground surface level being marked by a clearly visible change in construction.

The traditional name of the Guildhall may reflect its later use, but this structure was probably built originally as the house of a merchant, at a time when Blakeney was the third most important port in Norfolk after Yarmouth and Lynn. The retaining wall and railings abutting the southern wall of the building to the south, and the information board with supporting posts which stands against the north wall are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

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This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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