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Norwich listed building needs "sympathetic" conversion

Ivory House, Norwich.

Ivory House, Norwich.

Archant © 2010

Norwich listed building needs "sympathetic" conversion

A heritage watchdog has called for a “sympathetic” conversion of an historic listed building in Norwich to preserve the legacy of a famous 18th century architect.

Ivory House, the former Militia Barracks, in All Saints Green was built in 1771 by Thomas Ivory, who was also responsible for the Assembly House and Octagon Chapel in the city.

Plans have been lodged for internal alterations at the building to allow the existing seven flats to be converted into 12, and for a new extension to be built to provide eight more flats.

The plans, which also include maintenance and restoration of the fabric of the building, will be discussed by Norwich City Council’s planning committee.

But the Norwich Society, which campaigns to safeguard historic buildings in the city, has already cast its eye over the proposals, and its administrator Vicky Manthorpe has called for historic and impact assessments to be completed before plans are approved.

She added: “The previous conversion was badly done and members feel very strongly that this dignified Georgian building’s interior should be sympathetically converted, and proper professional repairs carried out on what is one of Norwich’s most important Ivory buildings.”

Thomas Ivory, who lived from 1709 to 1779, has been described as the “pre-eminent” Georgian architect in Norwich. He was at his height in 1754 when work on both the Octagon Chapel in Colegate and the Assembly House in Theatre Street started, and the city enjoyed unprecedented prosperity.

Mr Ivory lived in the Great Hospital house in Bishopgate until his death and he and his wife Hannah are buried in Norwich Cathedral. Other buildings attributed to him in Norwich are those in Surrey Street, 29-35 (1761-2) and 25-27 (c1771), the latter two having been replaced by a modern building. St Catherine’s House in All Saints Green, the former studios of BBC television, is attributed to him but may have been completed by his son, William.

Are you trying to restore a Norwich building to its former glory? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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