From old to new: Couple sell £2.5m Georgian mansion to move into new build replica
PUBLISHED: 14:55 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:55 15 July 2020
Strutt and Parker/supplied by Kevin Keable
A Norfolk couple are selling their country house after building their own modern designer equivalent.
Mr Keable, who previously worked in the oil business, and his artist wife are selling Bracon Lodge which is set in 23 acres.
The property also boasts one of the finest crinkle crankle walls – an unusual type of garden wall built in a serpentine shape with alternating curves – in the region.
The Keables are leaving to realise a life-long dream to build their own home on a five acre site nearby – and always intended to sell the period home as a result.
The new build takes its inspiration from Bracon Lodge but comes with 21st century designer features.
“It’s going to be hard to leave Bracon Lodge after 11 years, the kids have grown up here and we’ve got good memories but we have decided to move on,” Mr Keable said.
“It’s so quiet here, you don’t hear anything just the birds.”
Bracon Lodge, with six bedrooms over two floors, comes with an illustrious history of its own. It was purchased in 1765 by John Corbould, a benefactor and lawyer and had the serpentine wall built.
An architectural feature found mostly in East Anglia, the wall lends itself to growing fruit trees although was also often just a design addition creating strength without the need for buttresses.
Over the years the house, situated in palatial parkland, and now with the luxury of a swimming pool, has passed into the hands of some of the most eminent local families including the Gurneys who lived there in the 1960s and had close connections to Barclays Bank.
The house, which has six bedrooms over two floors, for sale with Strutt & Parker, has superb interiors including a grand, sweeping staircase, fireplaces and working shuttered sash windows. There are high ceilings, picture rails and cornicing as well as a full set of working servant’s bells.
It was extended in 1798 by Mr Corbould and the house passed to his son, also called John, who was a curate to the famous Parson Woodforde at Weston Longville in 1795 before becoming Rector of Bawdeswell.
When he died suddenly in 1810, Bracon Lodge was sold to the Reverend Thomas Berney and passed through different families over the years until it was used by the Home Guard and Red Cross in the Second World War.
It famously hosted the then Bishop of Norwich, Bertram Pollock, who apparently slept under a special metal table as an air-raid shelter. After that, the house was owned by a Dr Fletcher who created a cricket pitch in front of the house so, as he became increasingly disabled in his old age, he could watch the matches from his windows.
The Gurney family took an active role in village life in the 1960s. Jim Gurney was local churchwarden for many years, and a new church bell-frame was given in his memory after he died in 2004.
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