Melton Constable – Norfolk – U.K.
Melton Constable sits on fairly high ground a little to the west of Holt. It is a bustling village with many amenities for visitors to enjoy.
Melton Constable reached its heyday in 1911 when it stood at nearly 1,200 residents. It was a new town built in 1880s at the junction of four railway lines, which came from Cromer, North Walsham, Kings Lynn and Norwich and linked Norfolk to the Midlands. A station with a platform 800 feet long was constructed with a specially appointed waiting room for Lord Hastings, the local squire. In 1971 the station was demolished and the works were converted into an industrial estate. Between 1959 and 1964 British Rail closed the lines and withdrew both passenger and goods services which resulted in the slow decline of Melton Constable, which now lies stranded in the middle of a vast agricultural area which now uses other forms of transport.
Melton Constable Hall is regarded as the finest specimen of the Christopher Wren style of house. The house was built by Sir Jacob Astley between 1664 and 1670 and it has some fine plaster ceilings dated 1687 probably fashioned by Edward Goudge. Much of it is basically Elizabethan, though this was disguised when it was refaced in the early nineteenth century.
Between the church and the hall there stands a tower known as Belle Vue which has a view of Norwich and the sea.
Melton Constable Park was designed by Capability Brown in 1764–9, it has a little church, a temple and various follies which are a work of art. It is an unusual church, which nestles under the trees, yews, firs and oaks and can be reached by a lovely drive lined with rhododendrons. It contains Norman work and many memorials to the Astley family who bear the title Lord Hastings. Sir Jacob Astley fought in the English Civil War and his prayer is still quoted by many Lord, I shall be very busy this day. I may forget Thee but do Thou not forget me.'