Former ironmongers’ shop in Aylsham is up for auction with guide price of £500,000

The beautiful Grade II listed building for sale in the centre of Aylsham.

The beautiful Grade II listed building for sale in the centre of Aylsham. - Credit: Archant

An impressive period building set over four storeys which was formerly Clarke's hardware store is attracting huge interest from potential buyers ahead of its public auction at the end of the month.

It could be the sale of the year. And many people in Aylsham are talking about it, wondering who or what is going to occupy an impressive 18th century building in the centre of town.

The former Clarke's ironmongers, is considered such a rarity on the market, because of its size, history and location, that the agents marketing it have been inundated with interest from those wanting to buy it.

The imposing Grade II listed building at number 30, Market Place, was formerly a store run by the late Alan Clarke, and much loved by local people as being a shop which always had what you wanted – even if it took Mr Clarke a little bit of time to find it.

The store closed some years ago and the property has lain empty and is now coming up for auction at a guide price of £450,000-£500,000 with Brown & Co and Horners.

The historic building, which boasts a beautiful traditional front, dominates the National Trust owned market place and has attracted considerable interest because of its potential for a variety of uses – commercial, residential or mixed use, subject to planning.

It is thought the first and second floors would make ideal accommodation with a retail outlet occupying the ground floor shop. However, the building does need considerable renovation and repair.

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Henry Cockerton, handling the sale on behalf of Brown & Co in Holt, said: 'Clarke's is one of the most iconic buildings in the Aylsham market place and its size and location makes it a real rarity. We've received interest from all kinds of people such as developers and investors and it would be wonderful to see this building brought back to life.'

The property is being auctioned in Aylsham town hall by joint agents and friends of the Clarke family, Horners. Jason Gibbons and Johnny Payne, who run Coxford's butchers, on the other side of the market place, said they welcomed the sale.

Mr Payne said: 'It will be great to get a new business hopefully in keeping with the character of the town. As a personal friend of Alan and his wife, Noreen, I was gutted to see it close and it's just not the same looking across and seeing it empty with no lights on.'

The public auction takes place on Wednesday, September 27 at noon in Aylsham town hall.

Do you have fond memories of Clarke's ironmongers? And what would you like to see go into the Aylsham market place?