Country houses for sale

A Victorian clocktower with its own moat, and just a stone’s throw from one of Norfolk’s most beautiful beaches

With more than two acres of immaculate garden and grounds, five bedroom The Clock Tower in Old Hunstanton is packed with history and charm in an enviable location.

Listed Grade II, the moated Victorian The Clock Tower sits in some 2½ acres of secluded gardens and grounds within the parkland of Old Hunstanton Hall, yet within easy walking distance of the sea.

For sale with Jackson-Stops in Burnham Market, agent Carolyn Hayward quotes a guide price of £1.8m for the impeccably maintained main house and grounds. A refurbished two-bedroom former coachman’s cottage — currently a popular holiday let through Norfolk Hideaways — is available by separate negotiation, but only to the buyer of The Clock Tower.

The Clock Tower, with its surrounding gardens and grounds and the sea beyond.

The Historic England listing for The Clock Tower, dated 1873 and originally known as Stable Court, tentatively attributes the building’s High Gothic design to the Victorian architect Frederick Preedy, whose cousin Henry Styleman Le Strange inherited the Hunstanton Hall estate in 1839; he is best remembered as the developer of Hunstanton as a Victorian coastal resort. Preedy also designed and manufactured his own stained-glass windows, 400 of which are installed in churches up and down the country from North Yorkshire to Devon.

The double-height drawing room, with Morris’s stained glass window.

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After centuries of Le Strange family ownership, Grade I-listed Old Hunstanton Hall, which dates from the 15th century, was split up and sold off in the late 1950s. In 1984, the previous owners of the former stable courtyard engaged eminent Norfolk-based architect Charles Morris to redesign and renovate the building, which they renamed The Clock Tower.

A quiet private road sweeps through the Hall parkland and crosses a small bridge over the moat to arrive at The Clock Tower, where the original large wooden doors open onto the enclosed courtyard garden with its brick paving and raised feature pond; the building wraps around the courtyard with most rooms opening onto it. The River Hun, the source of which lies within the grounds of Hunstanton Park, forms the moat that borders the property on two sides.

Plenty of places to enjoy the surrounding moat and green grass beyond.

Under the entrance archway, the front door leads into the reception hallway, which has a bespoke bookcase designed by Morris, with stairs leading up to the split-level master suite. Further along the hallway is a cosy sitting room, the original harness room. Next comes the library/music room, fitted with bookshelves and a stable door leading onto the courtyard.

The exceptionally large kitchen/ dining room offers wonderful views over the moat and garden. Leading off the kitchen is The Clock Tower’s pièce-de-résistance, the truly spectacular drawing room with its full-height windows, doors to the courtyard, and —perhaps inspired by Preedy—a dramatic full-height, Gothic stone-mullioned window designed by Morris on the garden side of the room. The bedroom wing houses three double bedrooms, a family bathroom and a further bathroom and utility room.

The piano isn’t included — but it looks so good here you’ll have to get your own.

The present vendors, who bought The Clock Tower in 2018, carried out a programme of light refurbishment that included electrical work, complete redecoration and the installation of some wooden flooring. They also replaced the old scaffolding bridge over the moat with two new painted Iroko wooden bridges.

The façade featuring the original clock tower.

They confess to falling in love with the courtyard setting, the original working clock and the building’s unique historic character, with its moat fed from a natural chalk spring. Once sold, they say they will miss The Clock Tower’s ideal location so close to the beaches of the beautiful North Norfolk coastline, yet so private and peaceful, and teeming with wonderful wildlife.

The Clock Tower is for sale with Jackson-Stops for £1.8 million. For more pictures and information, click here


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