Norwich's grand 'Judge's House' goes up for sale as Ministry of Justice looks to save cash
PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 January 2016 | UPDATED: 15:37 22 January 2016
Property editor Caroline Culot went to take a look at a Norwich house with its very own tower in the garden.
This grand three storey Georgian house on Bracondale called the Tower House but known locally as the ‘Judge’s House’ has for years been owned by the Ministry of Justice and used to put up judges of high profile cases visiting Norwich and needing accommodation.
The EDP reported back in 2013 that the house, one of 15 such properties across the country, was earmarked for closure because of the cost involved in retaining them and the fact they were only used for a small number of weeks a year.
The Tower House, for example, had at one time its own front of house manager, chef and was estimated to cost £3,079 per night – or almost £15,000 a week to house a judge.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said at the time: “Given the current financial climate, the justice secretary is reviewing all departmental spending, including on this accommodation, to ensure value for the taxpayer whilst providing high court judges with a secure and suitable environment that gives them the privacy to work on cases and judgments.”
Judges coming to Norwich are now to reside at cheaper hotels or bed and breakfast accommodation locally instead.
The result of the move by the ministry is the Tower House is now for sale for offers in excess of £675,000 with Strutt & Parker – offering a new opportunity for someone to buy the house which offers nine bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
It is steeped in history because it boasts in its rear garden a large 17th century tower, believed to be one of the earliest buildings to survive outside the city walls and unusually tall for its period.
It is thought to have been a garden tower or a rather grand folly which commanded fabulous views of the Wensum and Yare valleys from its roof.
The house itself is thought to have been built between 1747-1767 and was once the location for the Magpye alehouse which cased to function in 1783.
The grounds were developed as a pleasure garden and in 1797 the house received Prince Frederick of Gloucester, the great grandson of George II, aged 21, who was knight of the garter.
By this time the property boasted 19 major rooms as well as stables, a summer house, the tower and 22 acres of grounds.
The property does need to be brought a little more up to date as, although majestic inside, it is a little tired.
However, it does boast large rooms with high ceilings and ornate fireplaces. Original features such as a fanlight over the front entrance and sash windows abound and it offers a superb private courtyard and large garden to the exterior.
Set back from the road, it is really quiet inside and could be a stunning family home.
There is currently, off a hallway, three principal reception rooms including a drawing room, a sitting room and sun room and utility as well as a kitchen. Upstairs on the first floor are four large bedrooms, two currently set up as studies, both with en suites, with two others and five more on the top floor. Outside as well as the large rear garden there is a garage and a gravel driveway offering off street parking at the front. •For more information contact Strutt & Parker on 01603 617431.
•Offers in excess of £675,000