The second Norfolk volume covers an area stretching from the rich farmland along the coast to the deeply rural Suffolk border. On the north coast the fine houses and merchants' premises in the medieval port of King's Lynn are of unique interest. Rural highlights include the Norman keep of Castle Rising, the highly ornamented remains of Castle Acre Priory, and the monumental brick gatehouse of Oxburgh Hall. From a later age are the two supreme examples of the great Palladian country house: Holkham, seat of the Cokes, Earls of Leicester, and Sir Robert Walpole's Houghton, both with sumptuous interiors. In the villages distinctive Norman round towers and great Gothic churches contrast with brick or timber-framed farmhouses, the complex building history of which are carefully unravelled. Outstanding 20th century work includes Tayler & Green's rural housing and the Smithsons' Hunstanton school.
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Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1902-73), founder of the celebrated Buildings of England series, was one of the most learned and stimulating twentieth-century writers on art and architecture. Bill Wilson brings to this book an unparalleled knowledge of Norfolk's historic buildings, the result of fifteen years of investigation. Starting with an interest in medieval churches, his expertise now ranges over every type of Norfolk building, particularly the smaller houses in which the county is so rich. He was engaged in a resurvey of Listed buildings in Norfolk for the Department of the Environment, and since 1987 has worked as a historic building consultant, based in Norwich. He has carried out surveys of the buildings of 25 East Anglian towns for English Heritage, and has completed for the National Trust an examination of all their properties in the East Anglia region, as well as many surveys for private clients.
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