A warm, friendly Heather welcome

We are delighted to share Heather, an historic boat, artistic refuge and home for over a century, laying on the ancient Broads Waterways of Norfolk.

It is our aim to preserve the distinctive character of Heather, enabling future generations to enjoy her charms. We welcome you to explore the houseboat and bountiful riverside beyond...

Andrew, Timothy and Christopher

13 July 2012

Broadland Cottage ~ in keeping with the area or not?

Classic boats and customs are being neglected, but similarly, this is no different to 'architectural murder.' In spring, a pair of traditional flint and brick cottages adjoining Stalham Dyke, were sanctioned for demolition, despite a wave of local protest. The charming, but unused Broadland Cottage, on Station Road in Hoveton St John, is also under threat. It is near to one of Heather's mooring bases, in the bay, next to the oak tree at the King's Head. You can find the partly boarded up cottage close to Hoveton's commercial centre. It is set back from the road; next to Massingham Brothers Butchers and opposite SMT Garage and Wroxham Angling & Gift Shop. Broadland Cottage is under serious risk of being pulled down and replaced by a comprehensive new development. The proposal is for retail units, residential flats and a wine bar.

The cottage was built of Norfolk red brick during the nineteenth century. Slightly arched windows and decorative brick mouldings add grace to the building. It is a genuine specimen of Broadland architecture ~ basically a grander version of Toad Hole Cottage at How Hill, Ludham. The cottage is of supreme importance historically, because it predates most of the development following the Broads tourism revolution of the late 1800's. Old maps show a maze of dykes, fen and market gardens encircling the cottage. Later on, Broadland Cottage became part of George Smith & Sons establishment. The company launched the first passenger excursion boat tours in the area. By the late twentieth century, the cottage was part of the Broads Hotel complex. It was occupied up until a few years ago.

The cottage is scheduled for demolition. It is not a listed building, nor does is lie in a conservation area. Some buildings on Station Road are now considered beyond the scope of repair and are being completely redeveloped. Broadland Cottage is different. It could be saved and used as a family home, or run as a small distinctive business. This would aid the much needed rejuvenation of Station Road.

Old buildings should be cherished. They evolve through time, though carefully blend into the landscape. The fate of Broadland Cottage is arguably only part of the insensitive development that has consumed the precious Broads wetlands in recent decades......

To help save Broadland Cottage, you can propose that it be listed as a heritage asset. Please notify English Heritage:

''You have to give this much to the Luftwaffe: when it knocked down our buildings it did not replace them with anything more offensive than rubble. We did that.'' HRH Prince Charles ~ Speech made at the Mansion House, London, December 1987

Chris and Andrew

1 comment:

  1. We submitted a form to English Heritage to see if the cottage could be designated as a heritage asset or be listed. The whole process appears quite complex. EH rejected the proposal, saying the building is of local interest rather than of any special architectural or national value.

    Sadly, at present some good functional buildings with character like Broadland Cottage are left to languish. The local authorities may find a solution.



King's Head Staithe, Hoveton, pictured from Wroxham public Parish Staithe