These fine gate lodges can be seen at the side of the A146 at Langley Park. They were designed by Sir John Soane in 1784, early in his eminent career, and are listed grade II*.
The single storey lodgings typify Soane’s architecture, with an innovative but reserved classical style. Each lodge is a single room with just a fireplace and built in cupboard so it's hard to believe that they were lived in until 1970!
In 1985 the Trust acquired the lodges, after five years of negotiation, and undertook careful conservative repair, including the reinstatement of the iron railings and gates which had been discarded in the nearby wood.
The lodges can be visited by appointment with the Trust.
Langley Hall, near Lodden Hall was originally built c.1730 for Richard Berney, on land that until the Dissolution of the Monasteries belonged to Langley Abbey. It was sold a few years later to George Proctor and passed down the Procter-Beaumont family.
Between September 1784 and August 1790 Soane made four separate designs for park buildings for Sir Thomas Proctor-Beauchamp. None of the variant designs for an entrance gateway were accepted but a design for a gate with lodges in a simple Doric style was carried out. A design for another gate with twin lodges in a more conventional style was built and (with the Doric lodges) still survives.
The estate remained in the Proctor-Beauchamp family until the 20th century. During the second world war the house was occupied by the army and the pasture land ploughed. After the war the house and grounds were bought by Langley School, an independent boarding and day school, and the lodges separately sold. They were lived in until 1970 after which they deteriorated further.
See photos below.
n 1985, after five years of negotiation, Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust acquired the lodges and undertook careful conservative repair, including the reinstatement of the iron railings and gates which had been discarded in the nearby wood.
If you're interested in finding out more about Sir John Soane the Sir John Soane museum is a good starting point. you can visit in person and they also have comprehensive information about their collections online.
Norwich Road, Chedgrave
Norfolk, NR14 6BQ