History of Ingham Old Hall

Ingham Old Hall has its origins in the medieval times having been built circa 1320.

Some features still remain.  In the fourteenth century the Hall was inhabited by the local Lord of the Manor, Sir Miles Stapleton, whose tomb stands in Ingham’s Holy Trinity church alongside that of his father in law, Sir Oliver de Ingham.

These two men were keen to impress the royal court and established alongside the church on the grounds now occupied by Norwich Cricket Club, a priory that housed a brotherhood of monks of the Trinitarian order.

Little is known of what happened to the Hall in the fifteenth and sixteen century because unfortunately church records were burnt. Archives in Norwich show that in the seventeenth century the Hall was occupied by Mr Johnson who decided to extend the house, and in his will left his son, the then handsome sum of five hundred pounds to complete the extension to the front elevation. This is the front that stands to this day (with a few recent alterations) looking across the home’s beautiful lawn towards the cricket club.

By the time Mr Johnson’s extensions were taking shape in 1640, the Priory had disappeared but there were signs that some of the masonry may have been used in extensions and alterations to the Hall before Oliver Cromwell came to power.

Another big gap in the chronicle then appears, between the seventeenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. We know that the Norfolk banking family, The Gurneys, set about transforming the Hall, having bought it from the Barrett family in 1904, adding the bays and stepped gables which were a very popular feature in Victorian times.

During the First World War, the Hall and building in its grounds were made available to tend the wounded soldiers brought back from France. Mrs Gurney herself was the Commandant and acting Quartermaster.

The Hall was again put to good use in the Second World War being given over to the Merchant Navy who transferred their training school there from Dover to avoid shelling from occupied France.

In 1953, the Hall was taken over by Mrs Key who turned it into a home for the elderly after being driven out of Sea Palling by the great floods that hit Norfolk at that time.

Thus, Ingham Old Hall has been a care home for over fifty years.

The Present Day

Successive owners – and their have been only four- have developed the property and grounds into the beautiful home it is today.

Great care has been taken to ensure the home has lost none of its traditional splendour whilst incorporating the modern facilities required in a care environment. The main roof structure and covering have been replaced with Norfolk clay pantiles and pin tiles and there is a continuing programme of refurbishment and redecoration.

The grounds extend to some three acres, mostly lawns and grass areas providing a level walk to be enjoyed at any time of the year. The is an Elizabethan walled garden with box hedging which can be viewed from some of the bedrooms and the sun lounge. A few steps further leads to the Camelia walk that is bordered by a yew hedge which leads to the Orchard with some very ancient apple trees together with newly planted fruit trees. Another walk includes the Gardener’s cottage garden with a pergola providing support to some very old roses. In the spring, many hundreds of snowdrops and daffodils grow along the drive and boundaries and the woodland area becomes carpeted with bluebells and wood anemones.

The most recent owners, Ingham Healthcare Ltd, acquired the home in 2005. The Directors have experience of elderly care in other homes and also the management of a domiciliary care agency.

Paulene Galliver is the manager of the home. Initially from a nursing and midwifery background, Paulene has spent the last twenty years of her career in the elderly care sector and has a vast experience in the management of care homes. She also holds a post graduate diploma in business management,a teaching certificate and certificates in the specialisation of elderly care and the management of dementia.

The staff at the Home are a well trained and dedicated team. They all participate in a programme of continual self development and ongoing training. They do everything possible to ensure each resident’s stay is a happy one and offer help and assistance 24 hours a day.