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

What is the special interest of Hempstead?

Small rural village

  • Hempstead remains a small, rural village despite late twentieth-century development.
  • It has a strong historic character deriving from its historic layout and buildings. Terraced cottages are mostly located in the north whilst larger detached houses and farmsteads are south of the village.
  • Soft green verges, mature trees and hedges contribute to the rural character.


  • Key buildings reflect the pattern of early village landholdings. The remains of Lose Hall and, outside the Conservation Area, Hempstead Hall, illustrate manorial ownership.
  • The diminutive Church of All Saints was constructed in the fourteenth century with an unusual thatched apse.
  • Historically milling and agriculture were important industries to the economy of Hempstead. Hempstead Mill is one of five surviving watermills in the Glaven Valley where there was once sixteen. The importance of agriculture is reflected in a series of farmsteads in the Conservation Area's southern part containing farmhouses and farm buildings.
  • Association with the Gurney family in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Vernacular buildings

  • Hempstead is characterised by buildings of a consistently small scale using traditional forms and materials.
  • The materials palette of red brick, cobble flints and red and black glazed pantiles is typical of the local area.
  • Decorative details such as the stepped gabled on White Horse Cottages and the school house bell are eye-catching historic features

Townscape analysis

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

Hempstead townscape map with key

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 the Hempstead 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 at the north end of The Street and the more spread out development in the remainder of the village.
  • 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 setting of the village contributes considerably to its special interest and will be maintained. The presence of agricultural farmland surrounding the village will be continued.

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. The boundary currently covers all the historical development within the Conservation Area apart from the later houses on Chapel Lane which have a lesser historical value. Therefore the boundary will not extend to include them.

Green Farm to the north of the Conservation Area was considered for inclusion in the boundary. However, there is some distance separating the farm from the village and the farm already being within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area that surrounds the village. Farmsteads are a key feature of the Glaven Valley Conservation Area, and it is therefore concluded that it would be more appropriate to leave Green Farm out of the Hempstead boundary.

In conclusion, no changes to the boundary of the Hempstead Conservation Area are proposed.

The Old School Rooms, Hempstead Lodge, White Horse Cottages, and 43, 44, 45 Marlpit Lane and Tinker’s Cottage have been proposed for local listing for their architectural and historical interest.

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

Hempstead boundary review

Last updated: 25th May 2021