Take a look inside Great Yarmouth’s historic South East Tower that has been transformed
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The transformation of a 700 year old tower is complete with vintage furniture and curious artefacts that are helping to secure its future and preserve the past.
Conservationists say they are delighted with the refurbishment at South East Tower creating a unique holiday let that is both a seaside retreat and a heritage haven, adding to Norfolk's assortment of different places to stay.
Having acted on early feedback Darren Barker, projects director of the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust which is behind the project, said if it takes off some of the other 11 remaining towers will be in line for the same treatment, possibly paid for by crowdfunding.
Meanwhile the quirky accommodation in Blackfriars Road has already seen a good number of visitors since its £100,000 conversion last year.
'Feedback has been really positive,' Mr Barker said.
'The first few people gave us constructive criticism about things like having a microwave and a noisy fan.
'But it is an incredible space to rent and even if you do not take advantage of the seafront and the Broads and you just stay in this fabulous tower for a couple of days it seems to be a very positive and wonderful experience.'
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As well as decorating the make-over involved structural work, masonry repairs and putting in staircases where there were only ladders.
But marketing it to a wider audience has been hindered by the difficulty of finding an agent - a hoped-for deal with the Landmark Trust falling through, although the company was able to offer some useful advice.
Mr Barker said the eclectic furniture sourced mostly from auction houses on a shoestring budget and interesting objects dotted about contributed to the character of the building.
Although so far the trust had handled all the bookings on an ad hoc basis it could not do so full time, but was happy to speak to people who were interested.
The building stands over five storeys rising from the cellar bathroom where there is also a well.
Climbing the stairs to the kitchen and balcony offers unrivalled views over the town and sea.
It comfortably sleeps six people.
Parts of the building date from the 13th century with serveral storeys added in the 16th century.
At one time the chequerboard effect of the flint would have been more pronounced with evidence that sections were painted white.
The riverside North West Tower next to the White Swan pub was also ripe for conversion Mr Barker said, and could be paid for by crowdfunding linked to stays at South East Tower.
The cost of a night's stay is £100.
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