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Beloved home of holiday firm founder goes up for sale for £1.35 million

PUBLISHED: 12:06 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:35 24 October 2019

Vere Lodge, now for sale for offers in excess of £1.35m. Pic: Brown & Co

Vere Lodge, now for sale for offers in excess of £1.35m. Pic: Brown & Co

A country house in almost seven acres with 10 other properties which was the home of the late Naomi Bowlby, has gone on the market.

Norfolk Country Cottages founder and owner of Vere Lodge, the late Naomi Bowlby, pictured in 2015. Picture: ArchantNorfolk Country Cottages founder and owner of Vere Lodge, the late Naomi Bowlby, pictured in 2015. Picture: Archant

Vere Lodge, South Raynham, near Fakenham, built in around 1800 as a Dower House to nearby Raynham Hall has come on the market for the first time in more than half a century, having been owned by the late Mrs Bowlby and her husband, Major George Bowlby, since 1963.

Major Bowlby, who passed away in 2000, was in the Royal Scots Fusiliers and spent five years as a German prisoner of war after being captured at Dunkirk. The couple moved to Vere Lodge where they founded Norfolk Country Cottages, developing holiday properties well ahead of today's trend for 20 years from the 1970s until the 1990s, renaming the business English Country Cottages.

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Inside Vere Lodge.Pic: Brown & CoInside Vere Lodge.Pic: Brown & Co

Both were writers too and Mrs Bowlby, who also went by the name Jane, had a book published in 1963, Vain Shadow, published under the pseudonym Jane Hervey. Remarkably, it was republished when she was aged 95. Mrs Bowlby passed away in February, aged 98.

The house she loved and its outbuildings which have been extended and converted, nine of which are currently let, are now for sale.

A spokesman from agents Brown & Co, selling the property for offers in excess of £1.35m,said: "The main house Vere Lodge is a remarkable property with some fine internal period reception rooms and later additions. Ceiling height on the ground floor is approximately 13ft with the rooms being beautifully proportioned typical of the era.

Vere Lodge, now for sale. Pic: Brown & CoVere Lodge, now for sale. Pic: Brown & Co

"The property currently operates as a high yielding residential investment and could continue to be held as an investment by a new owner.

However, there is a great deal of potential to return Vere Lodge to its original form as a substantial country residence or to modernise and redevelop the land and buildings for holiday lettings, as a wedding venue or for a number of other commercial uses, subject to planning."

Two parts of the original house now form two separate properties, 'Possums Mini' and 'Dolls House.' Attached to these is a linked block with six single storey homes called Garden Wing, Pump Cottage, Dove Cottage, Rose Cottage, Apple Mini and Lavender Cottage. Fronting onto West Raynham Road there is also a pair of semi-detached houses known as Thyme Cottage and Dahlia Cottage.

Vere Lodge, now for sale. Pic: Brown & CoVere Lodge, now for sale. Pic: Brown & Co

Vere Lodge, now for sale. Pic: Brown & CoVere Lodge, now for sale. Pic: Brown & Co

Outside at Vere Lodge. Pic: Brown & CoOutside at Vere Lodge. Pic: Brown & Co

The country setting at Vere Lodge. Pic: Brown & CoThe country setting at Vere Lodge. Pic: Brown & Co

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Former owner of Vere Lodge, the late Naomi Bowlby, an author and founder of a holiday cottage empire. Pic:Archant library/Rosalind BowlbyFormer owner of Vere Lodge, the late Naomi Bowlby, an author and founder of a holiday cottage empire. Pic:Archant library/Rosalind Bowlby

The holiday cottages for sale with Vere Lodge. Pic: Brown & CoThe holiday cottages for sale with Vere Lodge. Pic: Brown & Co

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