Manor & Hall

Since the first written records Great Hockham has always had a Manor, but the Hall or Manor House has been it at least three different locations.

 

In the 12th and 13th century the Manor House was on the old moated site just off the Harling Road (opposite Moat Farm) on the edge of the village, but this shows a record of decay and eventual abandonment, possibly because of the black death.  The new site was just off the Wretham Road and remained the Manor until the lands were bought by Phillip Ryley from Henry Kedington in 1702.

 

The Hall was built by Phillip Ryley (later to be knighted in 1728) in the Queen Anne style, a short distance from the Church and in laid out open parkland.  The entrance front faces east, entered through a later 18th century porch with engaged fluted and tuscan columns.  At the west end a single storey 2 bay saloon was added, now the drawing room, circa 1880.

 

Sir Phillip was a reasonably wealthy man, working for the government in a number of roles, he also owned a number of properties in London and Thetford as well as a lot of land across the Eastern counties.

His son Reginald died shortly after Sir Phillip was Knighted, so when Sir Phillip died in 1733 he left the Estate and Hall to his young grandson Phillip Reginald Ryley.  Phillip married Mary Kemsey and left the Estate on his death to his only son, Phillip Kemsey Ryley.  All the Kedington and Ryley family mentioned above are buried at Hockham Church.

 

In the 1760's the Estate and Hall were sold to Benoni Mallett, an opulent farmer from near Fakenham.  In 1783 he then sold the Hall and some of the land to James Dover (but not the Lordship), whilst leaving the remaining land and the Lordship in his will in trust to Edward Drosier.  

 

Eventually James Dover acquired all the Estate land and sold both the Hall and Estate to Henry Samuel Partridge in 1810.  The Partridge family had had links with a number of Norfolk Houses and Estates, locally Northwold and Buckenham Tofts being but two and were to run the Estate for many years. The first born male of each generation was named Henry and many of the family had some sort of legal connection. The Partridges many of whom have memorials in Holy Trinity Church Hockham, were responsible for building the first Village School (now a private house) south of the Village Green. In 1930 after some hardships and having let the hall and Estate for some years to a number of wealthy shooting men, the Partridge family sold the Hall and Estate to Sir George Lacon who in turn sold them to Christopher Norton Trappes Lomax in 1936, passing through the family via Mary Josephine Trappes Lomax, and Thomas Byrnard Trappes Lomax.  It was David Trappes Lomax who inherited the Estate in 1962 running it and the Hall until he passed away in 1992 when the Hall was sold privately.  The Estate is still in the Trappes Lomax’s hands with David’s brother John at the helm.

 

The Hall is mentioned in Pevsner's Norfolk Volume on The Buildings of England.

 

In recent times the hall has been extensively renovated and modernised, whilst still retaining the character of a Queen Anne style country house.

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