Unusual Victorian house for sale for £525,000 with hidden extra

Chapelfield North, Norwich

A rare chance to buy a piece of history: Number 12, Chapelfield North is for sale. - Credit: Shipmans

An imposing Grade II listed three-storey house designed by famous architect Edward Boardman in Norwich is for sale.

Chapelfield North, Norwich

Number 12, Chapelfield North is for sale. - Credit: Shipmans

Number 12, Chapelfield North, has six bedrooms and three bathrooms as well as an attic and cellar.

And it also has a special fancy feature not easily seen from inside a car, driving past.

Chapelfield North, Norwich

You might not notice but this property has these 'Tudorbethan' chimney stacks made by a renowned Victorian firm. - Credit: Shipmans

At the top of the red brick building are four embellished chimney stacks in the 'Tudorbethan' style. The house was built in 1891 so in fact the chimneys are also Victorian and believed to be the work of a specialist firm of the time, known as the Gunton Brothers of Costessey.

Chapelfield North, Norwich

One of the original fireplaces in Number 12, Chapelfield North, Norwich. - Credit: Shipmans

The Gunton Bros were experts in creating chimneys that looked liked the ones on Tudor and Elizabethan mansions. Their work can be seen all over Norwich - with striking ones on Dunston Hall, for example. 

Chapelfield North, Norwich

An original fireplace inside Number 12, Chapelfield North. - Credit: Shipmans

There were apparently 34 different chimney designs available including roses, thistles and shamrocks created in the brickwork among the most popular of the time. A complete chimney of 60 bricks cost more than £3 in Victorian times - equivelant to several hundred pounds now.

Chapelfield North, Norwich

Inside Number 12, Chapelfield North. - Credit: Shipmans

The architect Boardman was renowned for designing buildings with lots of detail - hence he would have commissioned the fancy chimneys.

Chapelfield North, Norwich

Inside Number 12, Chapelfield North, Norwich - Credit: Shipmans

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Boardman himself created some of the city's most notable buildings including the former Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and the Royal Hotel.

Ken Shipman, from Shipmans, selling the property, said: "Indeed houses rarely come up in this location. The lady who lived there for some considerable years sadly passed away.

"It's a unique chance to purchase a piece of history. The house is very interesting inside."

Chapelfield North, Norwich

Inside Number 12, Chapelfield North. - Credit: Shipmans

The house has period features such as original fireplaces, a staircase and sash windows as well as a cellar and attic. There are six bedrooms, four receptions and three bathrooms.

Chapelfield North, Norwich

The converted top floor with views across the city. - Credit: Shipmans

Off the hall is a dining room and drawing room and outside is a courtyard garden. On the top floor is a converted attic with views over Chapelfield Gardens.

Chapelfield North, Norwich

The courtyard garden - Credit: Shipmans

However, the house comes with no parking - but a permit may be available from the city council, state the agents.

Edward Boardman

Edward Boardman in pencil and grey wash from 1894 in the Square Box on the Hill exhibition of the hi

Edward Boardman in pencil and grey wash from 1894 in the Square Box on the Hill exhibition of the history of Norwich Castle. - Credit: Shirley Place

Boardman was a Victorian architect based in an office in Old Bank of England Court, Queen Street, now the Sowerbys property agency office.

His major works in Norwich include the refurbishment of the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, converting Norwich castle into a museum and building the Royal Hotel. Outside the city, he also worked on buildings from Wisbech to Coltishall. He often collaborated with his arch 'rival,' fellow architect George Skipper, who also created many prestigious buildings in and around the city.

Boardman was elected Norwich mayor from 1905–1906.

Guntons' chimneys

The ornate chimneys in the style of a Tudor mansion were the work of George Gunton who began making ornamental bricks and terracotta in Costessey in the 1840s and by the 1870s was renowned across the region.

He died in 1890 but his son and grandson, both named William, continued the firm under the name of Gunton Bros, originally at Costessey and then after the First World War at a brickworks in Little Plumstead. They are believed to have built the chimneys in Chapelfield North. Black-out restrictions in the Second World War in 1939 forced William Herbert Gunton to wind up his business. However, the firm's famous chimneys are still evident presiding over many local buildings.