July 24 2014 Latest news:
By STEVE DOWNES
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Estate agents famously wax lyrical about the value of “location, location, location”.
Now a house has come onto the market that occupies arguably one of the most sought-after spots in Norfolk - with views to die for.
The Bath House on Cromer promenade is up for grabs for £1.35m.
And, if the location and the stunning views of Cromer pier and the North Sea are not enough, it is also a home with a rich heritage - and a dash of controversy.
The Bath House is being offered for sale by Savills in Norwich, acting on behalf of its owners Barry and Anji Connell.
The Connells were at the centre of controversy when, in 2008, they applied to have the former hotel and pub re-listed by North Norfolk District Council as a residential dwelling.
They argued - eventually successfully - that it had been used as a home for more than the four years required for its use to change.
The move, and the subsequent decision, sparked anger in Cromer, with opponents unhappy at the loss of a seafront business.
In its sales documents, Savills calls the Bath House an “important and iconic landmark building”, with “outstanding views over the superb Victorian pier and out to sea”.
It adds: “the building, which has recently been lavishly restored, has a fascinating history, very much bound up in Cromer’s development as one of the most fashionable seaside resorts in England.”
Louis de Soissons from Savills said: “it is one of the most important landmark buildings on the north Norfolk coast. It’s the most fascinating place, I think.
“I’ve never seen any house with such amazing views. And more than £1m was spent on it. The quality of the workmanship throughout is remarkable. It’s a one-off.”
He added: “We sell lots of big country houses. I’ve never seen anything quite as unusual and special as this.”
It was originally built in 1814 as a subscription reading room. Bathing facilities were added in 1824 and water was pumped from the sea into tanks so that gentlemen could visit Cromer to take the waters in private.
The present building, which dates from 1836, was the family home of schoolmaster Simeon Simons until 1867 when it was sold to Cromer shop trader Henry Rust.
The next owner was brewer and wine merchant James Chapman, who in 1872 converted the building into a hotel and added the western wing for use as a billiard room.
In more recent years it was owned by Bert and Barbara Wheston, and it remained a hotel until it was bought by former Norfolk county councillor Dr Connell and his wife in 1999.
Having undergone extensive refurbishment, the house now includes its own cinema, a library, a spa with steam room and sauna, four bedrooms, four reception rooms and two pantries.