Manor Farm

Pulham Market, near Diss, Norfolk

Overview

A traditional thatched and timber-framed farmhouse with lavish oak partitions and moulded beams. Once the typical home of a comfortably off yeoman farmer now you can enjoy its pretty garden and the surrounding Norfolk countryside.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • ShowerShower

Beds 2 Twin, 2 Double

Sleeps
8
4 nights from
£443 equivalent to £13.84 per person, per night

Almost demolished

It has proved impossible to pinpoint exactly when Manor Farm was built, but Dendrochronological dating (using tree rings) tells us it was probably built soon after 1597. There are some deeds dating back to 1643 which indicate that it belonged to a family called Maltiward. The family were Yeoman farmers, who had a repuation for being hard working and business minded, with a strong sense of duty. Tenants with many different occupations like weaving and milling lived here after the Maltiwards moved on. The building was almost demolished in 1945 when it was sold to a local junk dealer but thankfully he could not bring himself to do it and the building was rescued by Monica Dance, Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. 

 

Foodie heaven

The building was repaired to the highest standards by Monica and Harry Dance and was then passed onto The Landmark Trust to care for and maintain. The traditional maintenance process keeps old craft skills, like thatching, alive. There is an open fireplace, gardens and nearby moat. Guests staying here can take full advantage of its location in a paradise for food-lovers. Oysters from nearby Orford, fantastic real ales from Framlingham and locally-caught fish from Aldeburgh are all delicious highlights. The coast at Southwold is close by and it is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Norwich, a culturally thriving city all year round, is a little further afield.  

Floor Plan

‘Thank you. It feels like I am leaving a new friend.’

‘Landmark holidays are so enjoyable we have resolved to give up flying and explore the UK.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

Manor Farm is near to Pulham Market, regarded as one of the prettiest villages in Suffolk with a delightful village green surrounded by thatched cottages and a medieval church. 

The nearby thriving, picturesque market town of Diss sits in the Waveney Valley,  close to the border between Suffolk and Norfolk. There are lots of walks and cycling routes for you to follow in the surrounding area and further afield, to enable you to discover rolling countryside, bustling market towns and quaint villages, typical of East Anglia.

Explore the magnificent gardens and woodlands on one of three railways at Bressigham Steam Museum. For another fun day out, take a trip to Great Yarmouth, about an hour away by car, where you can enjoy all the traditional seaside attractions that this coastal resort has to offer. In contrast to the bustling atmosphere of Great Yarmouth, the more peaceful and refined resort of Southwold, further down the coast from here, is also home to the famous Adnams Brewery, which holds tours for visitors.

Don't miss one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time at Sutton Hoo, the Anglo-Saxon royal burial site, and Framlingham Castle, a magnificent 12th century fortress and one time refuge of Mary Tudor, both about an hour's drive from Diss.

In nearby Norwich (15 miles), you can visit the Norfolk Museums, including the Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery and the Museum of Norwich at the Bridwell. You can gain free entry to both with a National Art Pass, which enables its members to enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions.

The pass is presented by one of Landmark's partners, the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, which has been supporting museums and galleries for over 110 years by helping them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy. Income raised through the National Art Pass goes straight back into their charitable programme. Find more about it at artfund.org/national-art-pass.

For more information on things to do during your stay at Manor Farm, please see our Pinterest page. 

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Manor Farm
Pulham Market, near Diss, Norfolk
Clear directions

‘Thank you. It feels like I am leaving a new friend.’

‘Landmark holidays are so enjoyable we have resolved to give up flying and explore the UK.’

From the logbook

FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    From the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Diss – 8 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    Yes – there are two parking spaces adjacent to the Landmark.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are Rointe heaters and two open fires.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Unfortunately, there is currently no arrangement for the purchase and delivery of logs, however details of local sources will be provided with your order confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is also an electric cooker and a dishwasher.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There are three bathrooms, two with baths and one with a shower.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    The stairs are steep, spiral and narrow.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is a garden (not enclosed). There is a small moat (unfenced) nearby.

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

No written evidence to date this building

There is no written evidence to provide dates for the building of the farmhouse and the buildings nearby and very little concerning the people who lived there. Dendrochronological dating (using tree rings) suggest that the house was built soon after 1597. Some deeds of 1643 indicate that it then belonged to a family called Maltiward.

The Maltiwards were yeoman farmers. Yeomen had a reputation for good living: 'At our Yeoman's table' wrote Thomas Fuller 'you shall have no meat disguised with strange sauces... beset with sallads on every side, but solid substantial food.' But they were also usually thrifty and hard-working. Their houses, clothes and possessions were simply made even if of good quality; after a good harvest they would keep their money in hand (or under the mattress) for a bad year, or use it to buy more land. That they also had a strong sense of duty and felt a responsibility for maintaining law and order is shown by the fact that parish officials were almost always drawn from the ranks of yeomen. Judging from the house they built, the Maltiwards were comfortably off; a house with eight rooms - which it had by the mid-17th century - would have been considered substantial.

By the early 18th century Manor Farm had passed into the hands of a man named Richard Baker, who is described as a worsted weaver; in the first of the 20th-century restorations, traces of a loom were found in the house. He was following a long-established local tradition of combining weaving with farming: small farmers often needed some secondary occupation on which they could fall back in years of crop failure and weaving was the most usual choice in the neighbourhood. Many surviving probate inventories list quantities of cloth among the deceased’s possessions. In the mid-16th century, so vital a part of the Pulham village economy was this work that when weaving was suppressed in many rural areas (to protect the Norwich weavers), Pulham was made an exception.

After Richard Baker’s death Manor Farm passed to his daughter Hannah, the wife of Robert Thrower and then to her son Richard for his lifetime only, eventually reverting to his cousin Noah, a miller from Tivetshall St Mary. Noah and Richard, however, came to an agreement after Robert’s death; Richard took over all rights in Manor Farm and Noah was given Richard’s share in the mill, in which he already had a controlling interest.

Richard died a few years later and his widow Lucy and their seven children continued to live in the house and to farm the land. In 1844 the Throwers sold the farm to the Hotson family, who continued there until the 1920s. They in turn sold the farm to the Andrews family, but none of them seems to have lived in the house: it fell empty and began to sink into disrepair. In 1945 it was sold to a junk dealer for demolition, but fortunately he did not feel happy about pulling it down. At this point it providentially came to the attention of Monica Dance, secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, who rapidly decided that her personal intervention was required and with her husband Harry bought it forthwith.

The Dances restored the farmhouse lovingly and sensitively, subjecting it to the minimum of alteration. It was underpinned and the timber framing carefully reinforced where it was shaky, the roof was re-thatched with reed, several blocked windows were opened up and the walls were repaired with local clay in the traditional manner.

Restoration

Bought from Mrs Dance in 1979

We bought Manor Farm from Mrs Dance in 1979. There was no need for a full-scale renovation of the building, but a certain amount of work did have to be carried out. First, there were alterations needed to fit the building for continuous use by larger numbers of people, including the fitting of a second bathroom into a landing at the top of the stairs in the kitchen block. Additional oak shelving and cupboards were also provided in the kitchen.

Secondly, there were the more thorough repairs that arise every generation or so in the usual routine of building maintenance, it being exactly 30 years since Mrs Dance’s original restoration. Sections of many of the window frames needed renewing, as did one or two of the rafters in the kitchen end roof and some of the ridge tiles too. The kitchen chimney, which was letting in a lot of damp, had to be rebuilt and the area inside it damp-proofed. The whole of the building was replastered and a new coat of colour-tinted limewash was applied to the exterior and white limewash to the inside.

Thirdly, the opportunity was taken to introduce certain small improvements while other work was in progress. Lead piping was replaced, and some of the wiring was renewed in less obtrusive form. The main alteration was the removal of the downstairs bathroom from the oak-panelled pantry in the older part of the house, to the larder or pantry in the later addition, which in turn has now been removed. A more efficient water heater was then fitted into the airing cupboard upstairs, and a ventilated food cupboard built into the kitchen where the old boiler used to stand.

In the larder the traditional slatted dairy window has been retained. Another original window, in the buttery, was opened up, although it now only looks into the kitchen. Finally, a new heating system was installed. The difficulty was to do this without endangering the oak partitions, which could be damaged by the drying-out effect of full central heating. Instead, night storage heaters have been used to provide background warmth, which can then be boosted by open fires.

In 2006 our local thatcher, Stephen Letch, replaced the reed on the south slope with more historically correct longstraw thatch. The north slope will be done in due course when it needs replacing. Around the outside of the house, the flowerbeds planted by Mrs Dance’s tenants were grassed over and replaced by small trees. A new entrance was made and a space for leaving cars set up by the farm buildings. Work has continued to repair the main group of barns nearest the house using traditional clay lump, with a clay plaster and tarred finish.

The work was carried out for the Landmark Trust by Hoggs the builders, under the guidance of Mrs Rolt and the architect Henry Freeland. As much care as possible has been taken to retain any changes, in keeping both with the previous careful restoration and with the character of the original building. In some small ways the comforts of the 21st century, while being added to, have been made to impinge rather less on the 16th-century yeoman’s dwelling. In this way you can all the more enjoy the full flavour of the building, unadorned but at the same time rich like that same yeoman’s favourite diet of plain roast meat.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.