County/Country: England, Norfolk
The origins of Earlham Hall, situated a few miles west of Norwich, can be traced back to the late sixteenth century. Records show that the Houghton family acquired the estate in 1616 and that the hall was extensively remodelled over the next 200 years by a succession of owners.
In 1786, it became the home to generations of the Gurney family – prominent in banking, politics, theology and natural science. John Gurney, co-founder of Gurney’s Bank, was the father of Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) who spent her childhood at Earlham Hall. A social reformer and philanthropist, Elizabeth dedicated her life to helping those in need.
The ‘Dutch Garden’ to the south east of the Hall is a formal box parterre, surrounded by gravel paths and walls on three sides dated back to the 18th century. It is accepted that the garden was laid out in the 1880’s or 1890’s and its original planting was clearly influenced by the ideas of Gertrude Jekyll.
The Silent Space, adjacent to the open spaces of Earlham Park, is an oasis of calm in which to sit and enjoy nature in an historic setting. It is cared for by University of East Anglia staff and students. They work alongside the Estates team as part of Courage, a postgraduate wellbeing programme (see link below).
Images © University of East Anglia