Be lord of the manor: Site of forgotten mansion for sale for £2.3m

Burgh Hall Norfolk

A forgotten mansion: the once grand Burgh Hall, near Aylsham. The site of this opulent house is now for sale meaning you could build your own. - Credit: Archant library

An idyllic parcel of land in Norfolk which once housed a grand Jacobean-style mansion demolished in 1981 is for sale.

Old Hall Farm, in the Bure Valley, near Aylsham, offers 276.9 acres including the rare chance, subject to planning, to build your own mansion.

Burgh near Aylsham Norfolk

The land for sale. - Credit: Savills

This would be where the opulent Burgh Hall once stood, in a private site overlooking parkland.

The hall was originally owned by the Holley family and rebuilt in the 1830s with architectural plans showing extensions for a new veranda by James Hunt Holley, son of Aylsham attorney George Hunt Holley.

Burgh near Aylsham, Norfolk

The land for sale - Credit: Savills

These were designed by George Stanley Repton, the fourth son of the famous landscape designer, Humphry Repton, who created Sheringham Park.

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Mr Holley later became the lord of the manor, and patron of the local church, with the hall described as a 'neat mansion, with a fine lawn.'

The red brick hall had several bay windows, a conservatory and cellars. Inside, there was a grand drawing room with an imitation Jacobean plasterwork ceiling. 

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It was demolished along with many other grand houses across Norfolk in the 20th century.

There are only a few remains of the house left. These include several stone steps, one set which still has large ornamental stone ball finials. 

An area of non-native trees and plants also suggests an ornamental garden which was favoured by the Victorians.

Access remains a mystery though, with no sweeping drive at the front as would have been expected with a house of this stature. 

Burgh Norfolk

The land for sale - Credit: Savills

The sale includes arable land, grazing meadows and woodland with extensive river frontage. This is divided into two lots; one including the hall site, parkland and arable of more than 200 acres. The second lot is grazing meadows of 69.5 acres.

Savills, selling the site, stated the land has been contract farmed by the neighbouring Papworth family for many years. 

"The site of Burgh Hall provides the potential to build a new dwelling or leisure facilities subject to planning consent."

If you have information or old photographs of Burgh Hall, near Aylsham, please email

The forgotten mansions of Norfolk

Incredible as it seems now, dozens of grand halls boasting opulent architecture were demolished during the 1950s-1980s.

Some houses had fallen into such bad repair, they were considered too difficult to restore.

Many had been built for families whose sons and grandsons who should have inherited them were killed in action. They never returned from war to claim the properties. 

Among such properties were Godwick Old Hall, near Fakenham.

This once stood three-storeys tall and was built in 1586 by the Drury family. Bought by Sir Edward Coke in 1590, it was once the Coke’s main Norfolk home before the family moved to Holkham. It was demolished in 1962.

Spixworth Hall Norfolk

Spixworth Hall - Credit: Archant

Spixworth Hall; this was demolished in 1952. The Longe family, who bought the estate in 1685, apparently kept a large monkey in the stable block and a bear in the butler’s cottage. 

Honiingham Hall, Norfolk

Honingham Hall - Credit: Archant

Honingham Hall. This was built in 1607 by Thomas Richardson, then the Lord Chief Justice. During the Second World War it was turned into a home to care for evacuated boys. In 1964, it was sold and in 1967, demolished. 

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