Would you like to work in this grand Tudor mansion?
PUBLISHED: 16:13 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:06 25 April 2019
A Norfolk stately home, once the base of Lotus Formula One cars, is opening a new tearoom and office space for firms who want to work in opulence.
The offices along with a new wedding venture and a tearoom called The Orangery – opening next month – are all ways of keeping Ketteringham Hall, near Wymondham, flourishing, according to manager Martin Church.
Without such schemes, large homes like this, too big for the modern family, may have fallen into disuse.
The venue is set in 36 acres with manicured lawns, a cricket pitch and angler's lake.
Mr Church, who manages the hall, which was once owned by the Duke of Westminster and later by Team Lotus owner, the late Colin Chapman, said: “We let offices to a number of diverse businesses and it's a vital way of creating revenue streams to enable properties like this to survive.
“We have 24,000 sq ft of space and are currently 85pc let so we have five-six offices available, all situated within 36 acres of palatial grounds and plenty of parking. It's great to see small businesses start up in one room and then expand into two or three offices, people love it here.”
The hall, which dates to Tudor times but was largely rebuilt in the Victorian era following a major fire, offers office suites boasting period features such as fireplaces and some have large floor to ceiling windows overlooking the grounds.
However, there's one modern essential – high speed fibre optic broadband.
Over its history, the hall was a US air force before being bought by the Duke of Westminster in 1948 and then it became a prep school in the 1960s before Colin Chapman bought it in 1970.
Firms which have relocated to the hall range from Adella Bridal, which has just opened a lavish new showroom, as well as tech firms and Chatsbrook vehicle and asset finance.
Managing director Adrian Brooks said: “We chose the location deliberately, both because of the heritage of Lotus cars but also the peaceful location and the space for us to hold events.”
The hall has also just agreed a new partnership with wedding and events planner Softley Events. The hall otherwise is not open to the general public except for its new tea room which opens following the closure of the Piano Tearoom in January.
Martin added: “We are really excited by the changes taking place here at the Hall. Ketteringham is such an outstanding location in Norfolk and we want to see more people discovering it's charms. It looks set to be a really exciting summer for us.”
Softley Events and Adella Bridal are holding a wedding open day on Sunday, April 28 between 11am and 3pm.