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

What is the special interest of Hunworth?


  • Hunworth seems to have had an open landscape of heathland since pre-Conquest times and large tracts survive to the north and south of the village, which are an important contributor to the special interest.
  • The river has shaped Hunworth, which exists because the land lies at the confluence of two rivers. The Castle is sited at a strategic sharp bend in the river that made it defensible. The river enabled the construction of a watermill.
  • The many hedges and trees contribute to the verdant quality of the village.

Street pattern and development

  • The village has two concentrations of buildings: the earlier remnants of the Anglo-Saxon settlement around the church and the hall, and the early medieval settlement around the Green. Whilst relocation of settlements was common in the medieval period, in Hunworth it may have been tied to the construction of the twelfth century castle.
  • King Street between these two areas is more sparsely developed, with many of the buildings dating from the twentieth century and reflecting the provision of improved estate workers’ housing.

Buildings and materials

  • Hunworth’s historic buildings are typical of the North Norfolk vernacular in their form and use of flint, red brick and red clay pantiles.
  • Buildings in the village are mostly small cottages, larger farmhouses and farm buildings (mostly converted) with a small number of larger buildings that reflect the historical hierarchy of the village. The higher quality of the larger buildings is generally reflected in their designation.
  • The church is distinctive in using knapped flint and stone. The former Presbyterian Chapel, by contrast, is built of red brick.
  • Hunworth watermill is a rare Norfolk example of an overshot mill and one of only five watermills left on the River Glaven.

Setting and views

  • The Common, Heath and woodland blocks are important and distinctive elements in the village’s setting. 
  • There are glimpsed views to the fields from the edges of the Conservation Area, reflecting the historic link between the village and farming.

Townscape analysis

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

Hunworth townscape plan

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 Hunworth 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 the existing buildings in the Conservation Area should be preserved.
  • The rural character of the village should be preserved.
  • The Conservation Area will be managed to maintain the existing development pattern of clusters of buildings around the Green and the church with relatively dispersed development along King Street.
  • 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 important archaeology of the medieval ringwork will be preserved, and where the opportunity arises, better understood and interpreted.

Proposed locally listed buildings and boundary changes

The Appraisal does not propose any new local designations for buildings which have architectural and historic qualities that add to the local character. Changes to the boundary are proposed and are shown on the plan and listed below. See Section 8.3.7 of the Appraisal for more details.

The boundary has been reviewed and proposed changes are detailed below.

Exclude from the Conservation Area boundary 

  1. Though Hunworth Mill is a key building within the village, it also has very strong links to the Glaven River, as one of only five remaining watermills. As such, it is felt that it would be more appropriate to remove this building, its plot and some of the surrounding riverbed from the Hunworth Conservation Area and instead retain it within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area, where its significance as a mill building on the river more appropriately lies.
  2. There are several small sections of field that are included in the boundary on the south side of King Street and on Pinkley Lane. These also better relate in character to the significance of the Glaven Valley Conservation Area, where another key characteristic of its significance is the agricultural landscape which supported the farms in the land surrounding the river. These are therefore proposed for removal from the Hunworth Conservation Area but retention within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area.
  3. Only part of the plot on which the modern agricultural barn on the south side of King Street sits is included within the Hunworth Conservation Area boundary. To rationalise the boundary so that the plot is not split between the Hunworth and Glaven Valley Conservation Areas it is proposed that the boundary is redrawn so that whole of the plot is excluded from the Hunworth Conservation Area. The hedge boundary will remain in the Conservation Area.

Include within the Conservation Area boundary 

  1. Three domestic plots, which are split so that part is within the Hunworth Conservation Area and part is within the Glaven Valley Conservation Area, to be included to rationalise the boundary and so that domesticated garden plots are contained within the Hunworth Conservation Area, where they better relate to the built development of the village rather than the agricultural landscape of the Glaven Valley.
  2. The six detached houses on King Street appear to have been built to the same pattern and probably at the same time in the early twentieth century, to provide good housing as part of the Stody estate. The moulded details to the chimney, string course and tiled hipped roofs as well as their comfortable proportions elevate them above the average house of this period.

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

Hunworth boundary changes map

Last updated: 29th November 2021