Historic firm sells three storey HQ to move out of town after 264 years

Cruso & Wilkin's office, for sale. Pic: Cruso & Wilkin

Cruso & Wilkin's office, for sale. Pic: Cruso & Wilkin - Credit: Archant

One of Norfolk’s oldest property firms is selling its offices for £495,000 after exiting a town where it started in 1756.

The team at Cruso & Wilkin. Pic: Cruso & Wilkin

The team at Cruso & Wilkin. Pic: Cruso & Wilkin - Credit: Archant

Cruso & Wilkin is selling its premises in Waterloo Street, King’s Lynn, to relocate to a new office in Hillington. The move marks the first time the business has not been in town since it began. It mostly operated from the Tuesday Market Place and from Waterloo Street since 1991.

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The firm moved earlier this week to The Estate Office, Church Farm, Station Road, Hillington and will be officially opening its doors there later this month.

Its current premises for sale includes the semi-detached three storey office with private car parking for approximately 18 cars.

The property is “well suited to its current use as offices,” states Cruso & Wilkin, but “has potential for conversion to residential or other uses, subject to planning.”

The building includes offices, meeting and board rooms, welfare offices and storage.

Alice Lake, partner, Cruso & Wilkin, said: “Having spent 225 years in the Tuesday Market Place, with new horizons and opportunities, we are relocating to an out of town location hence the opportunity of realising the premises.”

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The business is one of Norfolk’s oldest firms of auctioneers and one of the oldest chartered surveyor practicesin the UK. Although there is no record, it is widely believed that author Daniel Defoe may have taken the fictional character of Robinson Crusoe from the business when staying in the Dukes Head Hotel.

The firm primarily practised in the early years as auctioneers and were active during King’s Lynn’s heyday when auctioning port wine imported through the docks. Later, HM Wilkin joined in partnership and the firm took on the title of Cruso & Wilkin.

After the death of Mr Wilkin in 1910, he was succeeded by his son, the late Captain HWM Wilkin, and then by his sons Horace and Thomas Wilkin who continued until 1987. They had no family members wishing to continue with the business so extended the partnership to non-family members.

The firm provides agricultural property and land management, estate agency, and lettings with another office in Hunstanton and an auction centre in Snettisham.