“…a genteel modern built Brick House, pleasantly situated at Thurning, in Norfolk; consisting of a neat Vestibule and Stair-Case, two good Parlours, wainscotted, small Study, six Bed-chambers, Closets, Servants Garret, Kitchen, and all convenient Offices necessary for a small Family. – There is a very good Six-stall’d Stable, with a roomy Hay-chamber, Coach-house, Dogs-kennels, with a Granary over the same, small Garden, spacious Court Yard, Plantations, handsome Waters, well stocked with Carp and Tench; contiguous to the House are 5 acres of rich Meadow and Pasture Land to be lett with the same,”
– Norfolk Chronicle 1782
The house took on new ownership by James Gay. During this time the house underwent serious transformation externally and internally in keeping with the ever changing Georgian fashion and remains the same to this day. The Gays remained in ownership for three generations until the family line died out.
1939 War was declared and Thurning like many large houses in the country did their bit for King and Country and was requisitioned by the home office to house 40 land girls (The Woman’s Land Army) to work the land and feed England’s people. In the six gruelling years that followed the house was occupied in a very different way. All furniture, soft furnishings and antiquities swept aside and in storage awaiting happier times The girls took over the house making once beautiful single bedroom chambers into large dormitories & the genteel parlour rooms turned into offices all repainted in custom ‘Army décor’, an image of an hostile era. The first internal plumbing was introduced along with electricity and telephone.
In 1947 the house changed hands for the 3rd time to local farmer GW Harrold and remains within the family. With most of the original furniture destroyed by the spoils of war the house is lovingly kept in keeping with the past and as a reflection of her former splendour but always striving to remain true to form for the ever present future.
Thurning has many credits in television and editorial such as Ruth Rendal writing as Barbara Vine for BBC’s A Fatal Inversion. BBC’s George Eliot’s A Mill on the Floss. You magazine, Red magazine, Boden, Laura Ashley, Bridal features and The Cotswold Company.