Mingay History Web Pages (MHWP)




Another fascinating contribution from Tony Mingay, from his fathers work on the family.


The MINGAY Manor.

The first indications that there was a MINGAY MANOR was made to me by a section in a Penguin Guide to Norfolk & the Isle of Ely, first published in 1949. The book itself was amongst my late father effects and it was probably he who marked the paragraph which stated, " Arminghall......... , but you will search in vain for the lovely Old Hall which the MINGAY's built in Tudor days.". It carries on with a brief description of the Old Hall and its demise, saying it was pulled down around 1908. Many of it more prominent features, namely its porch & door, being removed to Crown Point, near Norwich. To the best of my knowledge no follow up research was carried out by my father to ascertain further information on the subject.

Over the past ten years more details have been uncovered to clarify the picture. One of these states 'This Hall was probably built in the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First by one of the MINGAY family, most likely William MINGAY (obit 1564) for we find, 3 Eliz. that he was a citizen & alderman of Norwich and had a lease of the site of the manor from the Dean & Chapter of Norwich, also that, in 4 Eliz., as a farmer of the Manor of Arminghall held his first Court. The Priory of the Carmelites at Norwich, after their Dissolution, was demised (24 Eliz.) for 1000 years, and by the same mesne assignments came into the possession of Anthony MINGAY of Norwich and it is supposed that it was he that brought from that Priory the beautiful South Porch with its inner Door together with other architectural remains of the 14 & 15 century. All of which where incorporated into the old building .......' . Then follows a description of the Hall and ends by saying 'The Hall after belonging to the MINGAY's, passed into the ownership of the firstly HERVES, secondly the PRIMROSE families, and now (1907) belongs to Russell J.COLMAN, of Crown Point. Until last year, 1906, it was divided into two cottages but being much dilapidated it was taken down.' Upon hearing of this I (John Grey MANNING) wrote to Mr R.J.COLMAN and expressed a hope that the many objects of archaeological interest had been preserved, and received from him a reply in which he said" it has been the object of both myself and my architect to preserve every piece of carving that was possible"

Old Hall Arminghall just before its Demise

For illustrations of the Porch at Arminghall Old Hall see COTMANS' "Architectural Remains"; WILLIS', "Old Halls & Manor Houses of Norfolk" - 2 plates, "Excursions in Norfolk". From these illustrations and the examination of the Old Hall it can be seen that it is a building that has grown in stature & size rather than designed.

The question how did the priory come to be in the ownership of the MINGAY family may be answered, in part but not conclusively, by two references both basically saying the same thing, namely that "Edward VI. in the seventh year of his reign, anno 1552, July 21, granted to William MINGAY & William NECTON, of Norwich, gents, to hold the Manor of East Greenwich, in Kent, by fealty only, the rectory & church of St.Peter Mancroft in the city of Norwich; and all tithes of the same, with all their appurtenances, free & discharged of the pension hereof due to the Abbey of Gloucester, and they by deed dated March 1 in the same year conveyed the whole to Richard CATLYN, serjeant-at-law. For the sum of 510 3s 10d the said King conveyed to William MINGAY & William NECTON and their heirs, the advowson of the rectory of Shotesham St.Mary & St.Butloph, lately belonging to Pentney Priory etc.". So one can see that during the dissolution the King sold off much of the property he so gained to various people, hence it may be surmised that one of the properties was that of the Camelite Priory in Norwich.

The establishment of the fact that the Arminghall Arch was an 'add on' to the Old Hall can be given to the researches and article of P.G.LINDLEY in which there are several photographs & drawings of the Old Hall and its Arch. His thesis goes on to show that the stone work was created around 1325 and that an inscription on the doors relating a William GLADYN having had the doorway made in 1487 according to his will dated 1479, being more proof that the porch originated much earlier than the Old Hall at Arminghall. Furthermore that author goes on to point out that after many resting places the 'Arch' has found a new home, it has been built into the new Magistrates Court in Norwich and serves as the main entrance to the courts. However the associated doors of the 'Arch' now are in the entrance passageway from the Orangery to the Physiotherapy Hall at Crown Point, Trowse Newton, now Whittleham Hospital having been placed there by R.COLMAN around 1905. Other sources indicate that Crown Point was original built c.1865, later acquired by J.J.COLMAN (of Colmans Mustard fame) and subsequently enlarged for R.J.COLMAN in 1902-1905, final the state being sold in 1955 to become Whitlingham Hospital.

Arminghall Arch at Norwich The Magistrates Court

From looking at the various sources used to form this 'Tale' it becomes clear that use of reclaimed building materials, particularly the fabric of dissolved 'churches/priory' because they used those of good quality, was a common practice by many people in the centuries gone past. By searching around today one can find sites that specialise in reclaimed architectural building materials, and even a television programme devoted to their use.