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

What is the special interest of Thornage?

An industrial village

  • Historically there was a large foundry across two sites, which is commemorated on the village sign.
  • The survival of cast iron windows in some houses, the unique piers with cast iron plaques and the names of Old Foundry House and Foundry Cottages are testimony to its industrial past.
  • Thornage’s economy also historically depended on agriculture, which is reflected in the surviving farmhouses, barns and outbuildings, although these are no longer working farm buildings.

Street pattern and development

  • Thornage is a historic linear village up the side of a small valley with the high point occupied by Thornage Hall, its associated buildings and, nearby the medieval church of All Saints.
  • Thornage Common is an important open space. Although the shape of the common today derives from nineteenth century road changes, the common land survives from the medieval period.

Buildings and materials

  • Thornage’s historic buildings are typical of the North Norfolk vernacular in their form and use of flint, red brick and red clay pantiles.
  • Thornage has a high degree of decorative detailing incorporated into many of its buildings, such as flintwork patterns, initials in brick or iron, pressed terracotta details and honeycomb vents. There are also features that relate to its industrial past.
  • The different buildings reflect its development and the stylistic fashions of the times in which they were built.
  • Thornage Hall is a highly unusual survival in Norfolk of a medieval manor house and reflects the wealth and power of the Bishops of Norwich. Its large, fine outbuildings indicate the wealth of the families that owned the Hall later.
  • The Flemish influences seen in Thornage Grange reflect Norfolk’s continental trade.

Setting and views

  • The open meadows to the west are particularly significant; they contribute to the open character of the southern half of the Conservation Area and facilitate views of the north and south ends of the village.
  • The footpath across the meadows reflects the historic manorial ties with Brinton.
  • The agricultural fields, woodland plantation blocks and the River Glaven are all important contributors to the setting of the village.

Townscape analysis

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

Thornage 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 Thornage 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 village will be managed to maintain the linear pattern of development.
  • 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.

Proposed locally listed buildings and boundary changes

The Appraisal proposes new local designations for buildings which have architectural and historic qualities that add to the local character. These are not formally designated buildings but ones which have 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 6 and Appendix C. Changes to the boundary are also 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

  1. Brinton and the meadow between Brinton and Thornage. The existing Conservation Area is to be split into two to allow the clearer definition of the special interest of each settlement and facilitate the future management of each.
  2. Fields to the north of the village built environment. The existing boundary cuts through a field and it is proposed to redraw the boundary to align with the gardens and grounds of the built environment.
  3. Field to the south of the village built environment. The existing boundary cuts through a field and it is proposed to redraw the boundary to align with the gardens and grounds of the built environment.

Include within the Conservation Area boundary

  1. North-east corner of Thornage Hall grounds. This is excluded along a seemingly arbitrary line at present.
  2. Gardens south of Holt Road. The current boundary cuts through existing gardens so the boundary will be rationalised to include them.

The former public house on the corner of The Street and the stable range of the Rectory are proposed for local listing.

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

Thornage boundary changes map

Last updated: 22nd November 2021