Iconic seafront property sold as £50,000 donated to lifeboats

Bath House in Cromer

The Bath House in Cromer. - Credit: Steve Adams Photography

A donation of £50,000 has been made to the lifeboat service in the name of a developer of a landmark seaside property, after selling three luxury flats. 

Jane Kinnaird, developer of the Bath House on Cromer's Esplanade, is keeping the other flat in the historic building to rent out as a holiday let on Airbnb.

Jane Kinnaird, from Coventry, who has bought Cromer's Bath House for subdivision and further sale in

Jane Kinnaird, who redeveloped the Bath House into four flats, with builder Matthew Boycott, who worked on the project. - Credit: Archant

Ms Kinnaird, from Coventry, said the RNLI was a worthy cause.

She said: "Cromer is a fishing community and a tourist spot, and so the RNLI is important.

"From the Bath House, I often sit and watch it launch."

Ms Kinnaird bought the property in 2018 for £1.2 million utilizing £1 million worth of bridging loans, and had originally wanted to have the conversion finished the following year. 

The Bath House, Cromer, which is being converted into four new homes. Picture: SOWERBYS

The Bath House, Cromer, which was turned into four flats. - Credit: Archant

But the pandemic was part of the reason for delays in getting the flats onto the market. 

Ms Kinnaird said: "Covid made it difficult to get work done and made materials scarce and expensive. Even resorting to buying plaster at four times its usual price on eBay."

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"I wish the new occupants happiness in those properties, it is one of many beautiful spots in Cromer."

Ms Kinnaird said she could not reveal how much the flats had sold for as contracts had not yet been exchanged. 

The Bath House, Promenade, Cromer.

Inside one of the new flats in the Bath House, Promenade, Cromer. - Credit: Steve Adams Photography

But Boycott House - one of the two maisonette-style flats split over two floors - was listed online with guide price of £650,000. The other maisonette was simply called the Bath House. It also has a cellar level, was listed as 'offers in excess of £650,000'.

A third flat - called the Lower Bath House - on the ground floor of the building was listed for sale at £570,000, while Ms Kinnaird is keeping the fourth flat, the Upper Bath House, and it is listed in Airbnb.

She added: "I believe that two of the sold properties will be used as furnished holiday lets that I hope will have a knock on beneficial effect on Cromer."

The Bath House: A potted history

Although it has had different uses over the years, Cromer's Bath House will always be famous for having been a retreat for wealthy Victorians to 'take the waters' out of the public eye.

But its days as a spa ended when it was damaged in storm, and it was rebuilt in 1836 to become the home of schoolmaster Simeon Simons.

The Bath House, one of Cromer's iconic seafront buildings, in 1896. Some people lost their lives try

The Bath House, one of Cromer's iconic seafront buildings, in 1896. Some people lost their lives trying to save furniture from the building in 1836. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY CROMER MUSEUM

In 1872, brewer and wine merchant James Chapman converted it into a hotel and added the west wing for use as a billiard room.

The Bath House was used as pub/hotel throughout the 20th century, and was bought by Dr Barry Connell and his wife Anji in 1999.

Bath Hotel in Victorian times

The Bath House when it was the Bath Hotel. - Credit: Archant library

They originally planned to turn it into a spa suite, with restaurant and bedrooms, but instead converted it into a private home, prompting a planing dispute.

Before Ms Kinnaird stepped in the Bath House had been on the market for years, and in 2012 it was advertised for £1.35m.

In 2016 there was mixed reaction from locals amid speculation Libertines musician Carl Barat wanted to turn it into a nightclub.