Friday, 03 October 2014 00:00

Bessingham Manor wins NNDC Graham Allen award

Written by  Louise Cowell
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Bessingham Manor wins NNDC Graham Allen award

The 2014 North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) Graham Allen Award has been won by Bessingham Manor for the restoration of the previously derelict grand Victorian country house. 

The Manor has a long and intriguing history involving fires, theft and bankruptcy.  It has been to auction, been structurally condemned and was even scheduled to be demolished in February 2010.

Plans to replace the Victorian masterpiece with a replica manor house never came to fruition and against the odds the current owners stepped in and decided the building was far too important to be lost.

In just 17 months, Bessingham Manor has been transformed using entirely traditional materials and techniques, maintaining its original character and charm, with this latest phase becoming another remarkable step in the building’s history.

The project has been hailed a success by the Judging Panel, not only for the honest and expert approach to conservation but also the endeavour and vision of those involved in the project for taking on such a daunting challenge.

The restoration and extension of a Grade II Listed building, ‘The Pightle’, Town Yard, Cley, won the Highly Commended Award. The building had suffered from neglect and was in a poor state of repair. The project successfully combined high quality repair and restoration with sympathetic contemporary new design.  A new oak timber frame and glass extension has been seamlessly linked to the listed building, clearly defining 21st century architecture from the 18th century dwelling.

The complete restoration of one of the District’s Buildings at Risk, ‘The Old Rectory’, Wiveton Road, Blakeney was Commended.  This project has saved a Grade II Listed building and was carried out to the highest standard.

A Special Commemoration Award was presented to Langham Dome, Cockthorpe Road, Langham. Originally constructed in 1942 as a training facility for anti-aircraft gunners, the Scheduled Ancient Monument has been transformed into a new visitor attraction telling the story of RAF Langham and the brave service men and women who were based there during World War 2.

Funding for the project was secured from a number of national and local sources, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a team of local volunteers have come together to look after and run the Dome.

The awards were presented by Edward Allen, the eldest son of the late Graham Allen who was the first chairman of North Norfolk District Council.

Image shows L – R (as you are looking at the image) Chris Young (NNDC), Cllr. Roy Reynolds, Dawn and William Hickey (Bessingham Manor), Edward Allen and Paul Rhymes (NNDC)

Read 2710 times Last modified on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 22:23

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