Historic pub being transformed into £1million luxury home

Cock Inn, Old Lakenham, Norfolk being converted into luxury home

The Cock Inn, Long John Hill, Old Lakenham, is finally being converted into a luxury £1m mansion after years of planning wrangles. - Credit: Supplied

An 18th century inn at a Norwich beauty spot which has had numerous comebacks from disaster is once again being given a new lease of life.

Property developer Dan Trivedi of Grace Charles

Dan Trivedi, pictured on turning around the fortunes of the Prince of Denmark pub last year by introducing takeaway Strangers coffee and toasted sandwiches. - Credit: Archant

Property developer Dan Trivedi has just started work on the riverside Cock Inn, in Long John Hill, Old Lakenham, after years of battling with the council.  

And while the pub, which closed in 2015, may not be living on as a watering hole it will be salvaged from its derelict, vandalised state. 

The Cock Pub, in Long John Hill, Lakenham. Photo: Emma Knights

The Cock Pub, in Long John Hill, Lakenham. - Credit: Archant

The pub has had many comebacks. In 1908 it was nearly destroyed by fire and rebuilt. A century later brewers Watneys spent money on a big refurbishment and in the 1980s it was given another makeover in the form of an extension.

Mr Trivedi, who last year relaunched the Prince of Denmark pub, in Sprowston Road, by bringing in takeaway Strangers coffee, bought the Cock years ago.

His original plans were withdrawn and new ones submitted for the conversion of part of the pub into a luxury four-bedroom house and for two four-bedroom new homes on the site of the car park.

Lakenham Cock. Photo: Bill Smith

In its prime: The Cock in Old Lakenham pictured in 2013. - Credit: Archant © 2013

But Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale, at the time objected stating the pub, which dates in part to 1794, was an "asset of community value".

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Over years of wrangling, the pub stood empty and got vandalised, being subject to a total of 13 break-ins, according to Mr Trivedi.

Last July, after another year of revising plans to do with drainage and doing ecological assessments, Mr Trivedi finally got planning permission. Work has now begun on breaking ground and demolishing a new extension to the pub, with the main building being retained.

plans for new £1m mansion at Cock Inn, Old Lakeham

Plans for the luxury mansion using the main part of the Cock in Old Lakenham. - Credit: Supplied

Mr Trivedi, who runs the Grace Charles property development firm, grew up in the local area and remembers the Cock pub.

"Where I can, I like to develop old pubs and bring them back to life and where it's commercially viable, to retain them as pubs. It just isn't with this one. I know the Cock in Old Lakenham was a key part of the community," he said.

"Back in 2017 there were objections from people living nearby but now the attitude seems to be that if I didn't develop it, it would fall further into disrepair.

"I'm building a five bedroom, four bathroom luxury house which will be gated and have a high end kitchen, this will be like no other new build." 

He's hoping the luxury mansion will be finished in around seven months when it will go on the market. Mr Trivedi said he hoped it could be for sale for around £1m.

A pub with numerous comebacks

In 1760 carpenter Benjamin Blake was a licensee and it came up for sale in 1794.

LAKENHAM COCK PUB FIRE 1908 een 16/08/03

An old photo taken in 1908 showing the Cock nearly destroyed by fire with its thatched roof completely burned off. - Credit: Archant library

A century later, a Dennis Read applied for a music and singing licence. However, on the advice of the chief constable, because the property was in "the remote corner of the city" this was refused.

In 1901 old photos show it standing proudly with a thatched roof however on March 31, 1908, sparks from a nearby mill on fire landed on this and nearly destroyed the entire pub.

It was repaired and rebuilt by 1911.

Photo taken from an album owned by Rob Cranthorne of images of Norwich taken about 100 years ago. La

Photo taken from an album owned by Rob Cranthorne of images of Norwich taken about 100 years ago showing the Cock Inn, Old Lakenham. - Credit: Archant library

After passing through many different firms, it was given a new lease of life again when refurbished in 1984 by brewery owners Watneys. It is said to have spent £60,000 and the tenants a further £40,000 to 'remove a cramped bar and lounge.'

Further works carried out June 1996 included an extension.



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