East Harling Hall

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameEast Harling Hall
Alternative NamesEast Herling Hall
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishHarling

Harling Old Hall was built around 1490 almost certainly on the site of medieval Herling's Manor. The Old Hall was demolished in the 19th century. Earthworks of a medieval moated site with internal features, an adjoining enclosure with possible medieval fishponds within it and flint and brick foundations of post medieval kitchen, garden and orchard walls have been recorded at the site, some of which are visible on aerial photographs and have been mapped as part of the National Mapping Programme. During development of a vineyard nearby a post medieval tile kiln was found. (Norfolk Heritage Explorer)

East Harling Hall had a dominating gatehouse tower of four storeys above an arched entrance, built in c. 1490 by Sir Thomas Lovell (d. 1524) and pulled down in the early nineteenth century. (Emery 2000)

Gatehouse Comments

Some of the heraldic glass in the local parish church, showing Lovell arms, probably came from the Hall originally (see Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi) The Norfolk Heritage Explorer webpage has a sketch image entitled 'The Prospect of East-Herling Hall' (From Harrison 1914?), which by style seems to be a C18 drawing showing a house with numerous large windows and a 5 storey crenellated gatehouse of a style similar to Oxburgh Hall (taller but with less decoration and small turrets). Thomas Lovell was a significant, if relatively minor, member of the gentry. A friend to John de Vere, Earl of Oxford and his deputy as constable of the Tower of London. It is no surprise his house had some martial symbolism but despite a tall gate tower and a moat this was certainly no fortress. It was, as most such houses and castle were, a symbolic representation of his power and status. This status partially still derived from the 'feudal' obligation of military service as a knight and partly from his status as a man learned in Classical studies and his house, with its crenellations and renaissance classic features, showed this.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTL992868
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Gunn, Steven, 2016, Henry VII's New Men and the Making of Tudor England (Oxford University Press) p. 259
  • Cushion, B. and Davison, A., 2003, Earthworks of Norfolk (Dereham: East Anglian Archaeology 104) p. 97
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 12, 86n9, 140
  • Blomefield, F., 1805, 'Hundred of Giltcross: Market-Herling, or East-Herling' An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk Vol. 1 p. 307 online transcription
  • Armstrong, Mostyn John, 1781, History and Antiquities of the County of Norfolk (Norwich) Vol. 4 p. 58-63 online copy


  • Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds), 1998, 'Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1997' Norfolk Archaeology Vol 63.1 p. 198
  • Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds), 1998, 'Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1997: Addenda' Norfolk Archaeology Vol 63.1 p. 211 (report for 1996)
  • Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds), 1997, 'Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1997' Norfolk Archaeology Vol 62.4 p. 553
  • Cozens-Hardy, B., 1961, 'Some Norfolk Halls' Norfolk Archaeology Vol. 32 p. 181
  • Harrison, G.L., 1914, 'Notes on the Lovells of East Harling' Norfolk Archaeology Vol. 18 p. plate opp 52

Primary Sources

  • The National Archive PROB 2/199, mm. 5-8 (regd copy of will of Thomas Lovell 1524) The National Archive
  • British Library, Additional MSS 12463, fo. 67r (RENTAL-BooK of the Estates of Sir Thomas Lovelle) British Library catalogue