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This page summarises the key elements of the Conservation Area Appraisal for Baconsthorpe: 

What is the special interest of Baconsthorpe?


  • A place of settlement since the Neolithic period as evidenced by buried archaeology. The oldest surviving building fabric is found in the Anglo-Saxon foundations of St Mary's church.
  • Strongly associated with the powerful Bacon family, from whose surname the village takes its name.
  • A strong link with the castle just north of the Conservation Area reflects the wealth of the East Anglian wool trade and the civil wars of the late fifteenth century.
  • Association with the Heydon family, who built Baconsthorpe Castle.

Buildings and materials

  • The buildings in Baconsthorpe are generally small in scale and have a materials palette consisting of red brick, flint, and red and black clay pantiles typical of the local area.
  • Although now mostly residential in use, Baconsthorpe has a range of building types including the National School (1816), Wesleyan Chapel (1844), Post Office, threshing barns, cart stores, a water tower and a parish church that lend diversity to the streetscape.
  • Georgian fashions for classically styled architecture influenced the few grander buildings, the Rectory and the manor house.

Setting and views

  • The village has a mainly agricultural and rural character due to open fields rolling into the village between areas of dispersed settlement.
  • Breaks in the hedgerows enable views between these areas.
  • Soft, green verges, mature trees and hedgerows contribute to a strong rural character.
  • The open fields allow for views into the Conservation Area to key landmarks or groups of buildings and views, for example, to the Castle.

Townscape analysis

The following Baconsthorpe map is available to view as a pdf.

Baconsthorpe boundary review

Conservation philosophy

The overarching aim of the recommendations contained within the Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan is the preservation and enhancement of the character, appearance and special architectural interest of Baconsthorpe Conservation Area. This philosophy will guide planning decisions in the Conservation Area. It is defined in further detail in Section 8.2 of the Appraisal and summarised below:

  • The built environment should be well maintained.
  • Nationally and locally designated buildings should be preserved and enhanced.
  • Detracting features should be removed.
  • The sensitive replacement of lost historic features or those which have been replaced with inappropriate alternatives is encouraged.
  • Outbuildings, boundaries and landscape features which form the setting of individual heritage assets should be preserved and enhanced.
  • The scale, massing, density of buildings and materiality of existing buildings in the Conservation Area should be preserved.
  • The rural character of the village should be preserved.
  • The village will be managed to maintain the existing contrast in the density of building between buildings' pockets on The Street, at the Plumstead Road junction and outlying farms, with open fields between the groups of buildings.
  • New development should be high quality and appropriate in terms of scale, massing, design and materials, and should be the minimum necessary to meet housing demands.
  • Landscaping should be appropriate to the character of the Conservation Area, and mature trees should be retained.
  • Views should be protected.
  • The agricultural and rural setting of the villages should be preserved.

Proposed locally listed buildings and boundary changes

The Appraisal proposes new local designations for buildings with architectural and historical qualities that add to the local character. These are not formally designated buildings but ones with a degree of significance that merit consideration in planning decisions. They are shown in yellow on the adjacent plan and listed in the Appraisal document in Section 5.3, Section 6 and Appendix C. Changes to the boundary are also proposed and are shown on the plan and listed below. See Section 8.3.8 of the Appraisal for more details.

The boundary has been reviewed, and proposed changes are detailed below. One of the key characteristics of Baconsthorpe is that there are pockets of built development which are visible across fields, which creates a visual connection between different parts of the area. As a result, some open fields have been retained to preserve this aspect of Baconsthorpe's special character.

  1. Fields south and west of the village to be removed from the boundary as they do not provide key views and in order to provide more focus on built development within the Conservation Area boundary.
  2. Two areas where the boundary cuts through buildings or does not include full groups of buildings. The changes are proposed to rationalise the boundary.
  3. Historic cottage dated 1850 and therefore of a similar date to many of the buildings within the Conservation Area. The building is a well-preserved cottage with similar characteristics to most of the Area's buildings, such as the use of flint cobbles with red brick dressings and red clay pantiles.
  4. A group of cottages at the corner of The Street and Hall Lane, two of which date from the early nineteenth century and shown on the Tithe Map, whilst the third replaced a building shown on the Tithe Map. As such, this area constitutes a part of the parish that was built historically. The buildings display similar characteristics of buildings within the Conservation Area, with the same flint and brick materiality. One building was, until recently, a public house and therefore also has added historical and communal value.

The Rectory, Wesleyan Chapel, Ash Tree Farm, Pitt Farm and barns have been proposed for local listing as they are of special architectural and historical interest.

The following Baconsthorpe map is available to view as a pdf.

Baconsthorpe boundary review

Last updated: 25th May 2021