Submitted by admin on Fri, 13/11/2009 – 09:42

Happisburgh has many fine old buildings of various periods, but is best known architecturally for its magnificent Grade I listed 12th Century church St. Marys and its principal house, Grade II* listed Happisburgh Manor (known locally as St Marys), recognised as one of Englands seminal Arts & Crafts houses. The Church of St. Marys is described in Chapter xx and is thought to be contemporary with the cottage at the heart of the village known as ‘The Monastry’. They were both awarded to Wymondham Abbey in 1101. ‘Thrums’ the little cottage next to ‘The Monastry’ was added in the 18C. Good examples of the use of flint beach pebbles can be seen on The Street at nos xxx xxx xxx, as can some nice plain Georgian brick cottages.

Happisburgh 1st School is a nice example of Victorian Gothic style and dated 1861, with an excellent addition added in 1999.

Other Victorian examples are the Church Rooms on the Street, and the Villas on Beach Road, which were apparently built in anticipation of the coming of the railway in the early part of the 20C. At around this time Happisburgh became a haven for the Arts & Crafts Style, with the building of Happisburgh Manor (known locally as St Marys) by the leading Arts & Crafts architect Detmar Blow for Albemarle Cator. Described in Pevsners ‘Buildings of England’ as “Vernacular Domestic Revival … on the butterfly or X-plan … materials used were flint, pebble, brick, thin tiles and thatch… plenty of tall chimneys”. It is the only fully worked ‘Butterfly Plan’ in the country and used many local features, such as tumbling in, and raised gable ends to protect the thatch from the strong coastal winds. Blow also as part of the scheme for Happisburgh Manor built St Annes and St Johns and a very attractive stable block (now converted to residential) to service the main house. The Pightle on The Street by xxxxx? was also built around this time in a similar style.

C E Mallows was another leading national architect and landscape designer of this period who also did work in Happisburgh, including a scheme for the renovation of a farm house and a major design brief for a ‘seaside village of quality’ in the area from the church toward Walcot. These were featured in Studio publications of the period.(see illustrations). Had this extension to the village been built it would have made a huge difference to the consequential history of Happisburgh.