Old wash house in Cromer sells for more than treble the expected price

The old wash house, on Mount Street, Cromer, which has sold for more than three times the expected p

The old wash house, on Mount Street, Cromer, which has sold for more than three times the expected price at auction. Picture: BROWN & CO - Credit: Archant

A small and slightly-battered old wash house, expected to fetch between £3,000 and £5,000 at auction, has sold for £17,000.

The Cromer building, measuring just 15ft by 11ft (4.57m by 3.35m) attracted lively bidding at the auction, held in The Assembly House, Norwich.

'To say I was taken by surprise would be the least of it – I was stunned,' said auctioneer Trevor Blythe, of Brown & Co.

There had been three or four bidders in the room, plus telephone bids.

Mr Blythe said he did not know who had bought the brick building, on Mount Street, but believed they wanted it for storage.

He understands it was originally built either as a bathing house, or clothes-washing building, for nearby late Victorian homes on Cambridge Street.

Mr Blythe had also heard that it might have been used for boiling and dressing Cromer crabs at some time in the past.

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The building had been put up for auction by its owners, the Victory Housing Trust.

Victory finance director Stephen Read said it had been part of the transfer of housing stock which came over from North Norfolk District Council in 2006.

Mr Read added: 'Victory is delighted with the price realised at auction, which far exceeded the auctioneer's guide price.

'All of this money will be put back into building much-needed new affordable homes for people in housing need in the north of Norfolk.'

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