Park and Landscape

The landscaped Park we see today dates back to the 1760’s, though it is possible that some kind of park had been laid out around the Hall as early as the sixteenth century.  The parkland landscape, which makes full use of natural undulations, is likely to have been re-designed in 1764 by a local surveyor named Joseph Rumball (rather than, as has been rumoured, Capability Brown).
Today, the Park is maintained with the regular assistance of professional woodland advice. It consists mainly of oaks, with additional beeches, horse chestnuts, red oaks and cherries.  Two giant sweet chestnuts pre-date the creation of the Park; they were grown there originally to feed the deer. An imposing Cedar of Lebanon dominates the driveway to the Hall.

Sweep of drive

Lake with swans
The fine lake below the Hall was created by damming Broome Beck, a tributary of the River Waveney.  The lake attracts kingfishers and otters, and is a natural habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.
Lake stretch beautiful

The Landscape
“The landscape of the Ditchingham estate is of particular significance in both historical and environmental terms. It includes the well-preserved remains of two important post-medieval designed landscapes, one of which is rated as Grade II in English Heritage’s Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. It also contains a number of important areas of ancient woodland. Two of these are registered as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, while three contain important archaeological earthworks. The local field pattern has remained remarkably intact, escaping the wholesale removal of boundaries which occurred over much of south Norfolk during the second half of the twentieth century: indeed, in some parts of the estate the landscape still closely resembles that depicted on two important early seventeenth-century maps of the area. In a district in which much of the historical landscape has been lost or badly damaged in the last half century or so, these are important and precious survivals.”
Professor Tom Williamson, Head of Landscape Group at the University of East Anglia [UEA School of History]