Buy a chunk of 'chocolate mansion' for £555,000
- Credit: Sowerbys
A glamorous apartment in the former home of the famous Mackintosh chocolate makers in Norwich is for sale.
The four-bedroom wing over two floors is in the grand Thickthorn Hall, Hethersett, once owned by the chocolate makers who originated from Halifax.
The Mackintosh family later brought their operation to Norfolk where it remained until the firm was bought out by Nestle in 1988. Mackintosh had merged with Rowntree in 1969 and chocolate production continued in the city as it had for more than 100 years, with the company employing at its peak, 1,000 people.
At Easter time the factory was renowned for making millions of chocolate eggs. But in 1996 the factory closed despite protests and it was demolished in 2004. Chantry Place shopping centre now stands in its place.
Thickthorn Hall is a late Georgian mansion built in 1812 and originally used for businessmen in the city as a country estate where they enjoyed shooting parties.
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The famous Gurney banking family, prominent Quakers, were the owners for most of the nineteenth century. Mary Gurney lived there after it passed to her father. The grand mansion stayed in the Gurney family until the 1930s when Alan Rees Colman, director of Colman's mustard, bought it.
It is believed Thickthorn Hall derives its name from a legendary hawthorn tree.
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In 1987 the property was converted into seven apartments.
The wing for sale has been updated and offers a drawing room which overlooks the grounds and features high ceilings, ornate cornicing and a central marble fireplace.
There are two bedrooms on the ground floor, an en suite, a separate bathroom and two bedrooms on the first floor.
Views are out towards the communal grounds of four acres which include a lake.
The Mackintosh chocolate empire was founded by John Mackintosh in the Victorian era. He and his wife Violet famously started out by buying a pastry shop with their joint savings of £100.
The Mackintosh family bought Caley's in Norwich in 1932. They made the first packet of Rolos and brands such as Quality Street, Toffee Crisp and Caramac. When the chocolates were being made, people in Norwich used to describe the sweet smell pervading the nearby vicinity.