DescriptionFollowing the restoration work the Hon Edwin and Mrs Montagu purchased Breccles in 1910 and employed Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) to make additions to the interior and to add a new service wing. Edwin Montagu, a Liberal MP, came from a prominent Anglo-Jewish financial and political dynasty, and became the third Jew to serve in the British cabinet. Mrs Montagu developed the grounds within the old C16 walls and, with Lutyens’ help, developed new garden areas, including a new walled enclosure to the north of the C16 wall, in front of the service wing. The Montagus entertained many notable guests at Breccles, including members of the royal family, Noel Coward, and Winston Churchill. (Historic England, list entry 1001003)
BRECKLES HALL. Elizabethan brick house built for Francis Wodehouse and dated 1583 on the chimneypiece of one com- pletely panelled room on the first floor. The house was extremely well repaired by Detmar Blow shortly after 1900, and added to and (less well) altered inside by Lutyens after 1908. Where they survive, and there are a lot of them, the Elizabethan windows have their glass and metal fittings intact. The mullions of the timber windows are typically hollow-chamfered, those of the brick windows ovolo-moulded.
The w front, built on the E-plan, is largely a reconstruction, indeed the porch which turns it from an H-plan to the E is Blow’s: two storeys with polygonal angle-shafts. Wide project- ing gables r. and 1. leaving only one bay between them and the porch. The more original s side has two mighty chimney-breasts gabled back to the roof, both with octagonal flues. C16 door, the fittings complete, under a pair of overlights. On the E side a curious arrangement. The 1. stepped gable the only stepped one in a house of straight gables – corresponds to a gable on the front. But it is followed by a row of seven lower straight gables. There are four gabled dormers behind these, lighting the long gallery, which are the only gables shown on a drawing of 1886. The windows below them have no transoms. It is unusual for Elizabethan houses to be more than one room deep, but the small rooms below these gables lie at the back of the hall, etc., which are entered from the front. They seem to be an addition, perhaps by Lutyens. The water hoppers are his, dated 1908. Much reconstructed N side. Here Lutyens added his service range in Elizabethan mode. One storey and attic, with five gabled dormers on the W side, four to the E, mullioned windows and clustered octagonal stacks. (Pevsner & Wilson, 1999, p. 215-6)
BibliographyHistoric England. BRECCLES HALL. [Online] Available from: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1001003
Pevsner N & Wilson B (1999)Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.
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ClientRt Hon Edwin Montagu