Buy this former hotel on the north Norfolk coast for £900,000
PUBLISHED: 11:45 25 January 2019
This impressive 18-bedroom property in Overstrand, near Cromer, could be restored to its former glory as a popular hotel – or even a large family home.
Sunny days making sandcastles on the beach, afternoon teas on the lawn and family table tennis competitions – Mark and James Northway have nothing but fond memories of Overstrand Court Hotel.
As boys, the pair grew up in the splendid Arts and Crafts building, which is now on the market with Watsons Period and Prestige at a guide price of £900,000.
Today the impressive 18-bedroom property requires refurbishment to become a hotel – or even a large family home – once again.
And planning in principle has been approved for its conversion into one house and six apartments, with a further two dwellings in the grounds.
“It would be lovely to think it could be enjoyed again,” says Mark, whose father David bought it in the early 1970s.
“It has so much potential to become a beautiful boutique hotel, a bed and breakfast or even just a wonderful place to live.
“It sits in 1.53 acres, which include a lovely woodland dell, and, of course, it is just a short distance from the beach.”
The magnificent old building has a colourful history. It was built in 1903 at a time when Overstrand was very much an elegant coastal destination.
“It was primarily a gentleman’s play area,” Mark explains. “Some of the buildings here were designed by famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.
“When my father bought the hotel he was told it was built to plans by Lutyens. I have tried to substantiate this but have so far been unable to.”
Lutyens, known for his work designing parts of New Delhi, as well as the Cenotaph in Whitehall, was, of course, a pioneer of the Arts and Crafts movement.
His beautiful buildings were known for their craftsmanship and traditional construction methods.
Lutyens certainly spent time in Overstrand and was responsible for the design of the former home of Lord and Lady Battersea, The Pleasaunce, as well as Overstrand Hall and the Methodist Church.
“Overstrand Court Hotel was originally designed as a private residence and we believe that at some time after the first world war it became a convalescence home,” says Mark.
“It then became a gentlemen’s finishing school before being requisitioned for army use in the second world war.”
The property first opened as a hotel in the 1950s and remained as such until the 1980s, when it became a bed and breakfast operation.
“I remember it being a hugely successful family hotel, with a very homely, cosy atmosphere,” Mark recalls.
“People would come year after year, enjoying the mystery bus tours along the coast and the table tennis competitions, as well as the lovely gardens and being close to the beach.”
Although the building has been extended over the years, it still retains many of its Arts and Crafts features, including extensive panelling and fireplaces.
The accommodation is currently arranged over three storeys, with reception, bar, dining and sitting room areas, as well as the many bedrooms.
“It really is an amazing building and its history reflects the social times,” Mark observes.
“I still enjoy returning there to listen to the birds in the garden or to light a fire in the fireplace – and I always remember how much fun we had.”
He adds: “I hope someone comes forward to restore it to its former glory and if there is anyone out there who is able to confirm more about its history, especially if it really was designed by Lutyens, then perhaps they could contact the agents.”
Overstrand Court Hotel is on the market with Watsons Period and Prestige at a guide price of £900,000. An open day (by strict appointment only) is being held on Saturday, February 2. For more information call 01263 515120.
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