The Lost Village of Godwick

Godwick Great Barn and Landscape Park

The Great Barn is one of the most important buildings of its date and type in Norfolk. The elaborate west wall was designed to impress. Along with the church tower folly it was an important part of the landscape park associated with the Old Hall; together the folly and barn framed the approach to the Old Hall from the north.

The Lost Village of Godwick

Architecture

In the west elevation seven blind windows (windows that were always infilled with brick and never glazed) and a blocked doorway are original features. A blind window or a second doorway was removed when a central threshing door was added in the 18th or 19th Century. Two more blind windows were lost when other doors were added, possibly in the 18th Century. These changes reflect the decline in the status of the Old Hall from a residence of the Coke family to a tenanted farmhouse.

The barn’s north elevation was also elaborate but has been much changed. Like the west wall it would have been visible on the approach to and designed to reflect the ornate features of the Old Hall.

The Lost Village of Godwick

Construction

Tree ring dating of floor and roof timbers indicates the Great Barn was built in or shortly after 1597, with the roof repaired in the early 18th Century. Sir Edward Coke owned Godwick in the 1590s and commissioned its construction. He was married to Bridget Paston, whose family built another grand barn at Paston in northeast Norfolk in 1581.

The roof is unusual in having alternating tie beam and hammer beam roof trusses. It is covered with shingles and pantiles but may originally have been thatched.

Additional buildings were built on the Great Barn’s eastern side in the 19th and 20th Centuries. A new northeast wing was built in 2012.

The Lost Village of Godwick

Later uses

Although built as a barn, the Great Barn been used in other ways. Local stories suggest is housed 200 troops during the reign of Charles II. An upper floor inserted during the 19th Century may have been used to store grain. In 2012 it was converted into a wedding and event venue.

Go to Panel 6 - Godwick Old Hall

The Lost Village of Godwick

Menu