July 26 2014 Latest news:
Friday, June 6, 2014
A redundant water tower dating back to 1923 is being restored into a bespoke family home.
The 18 metre high building formed part of the former St Michael’s Hospital, on the edge of Aylsham, and work has started to transform it into a seven storey property.
Residents were given a spectacle after the two cast iron water tanks at the top of the tower were removed and replaced with a sleek glass sunroom with a zinc roof.
The 15 tonne structure was made on the Bure Place development by site owner Hopkins Homes and put on with a crane this week.
St Michael’s Hospital closed in 2007, following a shake up of community care in Norfolk. The housing firm bought the site in 2006.
Jill Bryce, of Hopkins Homes, said: “It was quite impressive. Everything went smoothly. There was a sharp intake of breath when the crane first picked up the structure.”
The sunroom, which features the original copper lightning conductor, will open onto a rooftop garden.
The owners bought the tower, detached from the main hospital building, at the end of last year.
It was built by TH Blyth and its restoration forms part of the final phase of refurbishment at Bure Place.
The tower will have a glass enclosed staircase on the external wall and a lift in the centre of the building.
Hopkins Homes hopes to finish the “painstaking” refurbishment of the whole site by spring next year and the tower could be finished this year.
Bure Place will include 38 properties, combining houses, apartments and bungalows - 15 of which remain on the open market.
The Victorian listed hospital was built in 1840 and was designed by John Donthorn.
Hopkins Homes also built 131 new properties - 12 of which are for sale - on hospital land now called St Michael’s Place.
Part of the old medical site was turned into the £14m St Michael’s Care Complex, which includes independent living apartments, a care home, health centre and pharmacy, and community centre for elderly people on the site.
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