Hopes to open grounds of historic hidden hall to the public

Rackheath Hall. Pictured inset is councillor Fran Whymark who lives nearby 

Rackheath Hall. Pictured inset is councillor Fran Whymark who said the property and parkland seems "detached" from its neighbours. - Credit: Archant

A councillor is calling for more public accessibility to a listed, historic home tucked away in the countryside on the edge of the city.

Rackheath Hall is believed to date back as far as the 17th century and has been converted into a series of apartments.

Although it has been converted, the building continues to have a classical look with its columns and Tuscan porch.

And now Fran Whymark, a Conservative county and district councillor for Rackheath, has expressed a desire to see more public access to the building and its parkland. 

Mr Whymark said: "It would be nice if there was more public access. That would make it more agreeable to people living in the area. 

"It's privately owned so it is in the gift of the owner of the land. But if something could be done it would be great to see." 

Fran Whymark, Broadland District Councillor

Fran Whymark, Broadland District Councillor - Credit: Archant

Mr Whymark described the historic building as currently being "detached" from the rest of Rackheath, particularly now the NDR means fewer people travel past it.

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Rackheath Hall was originally built for Sir Thomas Pettus, high sheriff of Norfolk, a prominent royalist and the first of the Pettus Baronets.

The building was used to home the US Air Force base's 467th bomb group during the Second World War.

And it was later used as an antique shop in 1977 before being purchased by a development company when it ran into a period of decay.

A planning application has recently been approved for changes to the gutters and downpipes at the Grade II listed building.

This is designed to improve rainwater discharge and will increase the amount of water which can be transferred to the lake within the grounds. 

ENTRANCE HALL: Tiles from Beccles Tile Centre 01502 713 852. Fireplace from Premier Marble Rackheath

ENTRANCE HALL: Tiles from Beccles Tile Centre 01502 713 852. Fireplace from Premier Marble Rackheath, 01603 721995 - Credit: Archant

Rackheath Parish Council raised no objections to these plans, which were submitted by Rackheath Hall Management Company.

Mr Whymark was among those who objected to plans for 43 new homes at Home Farm in April last year due to fears it could cause harm to the nearby Rackheath Hall. 

Norfolk Society Awards, Rackheath Hall.

Rackheath Hall. - Credit: Archant

This application was thrown out by Broadland District Council due to safety access fears from Wroxham Road.

Efforts have been made to contact Rackheath Hall Management Company.