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Gillingham Hall set for make over?

PUBLISHED: 09:30 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 07:50 01 August 2010

AN 18th century orangery could become a new centrepiece at a historical country house near Beccles which is in line for a partial makeover.

A planning application has been put in to upgrade the living facilities and staff quarters at the 10-bedroom Gillingham Hall, which is privately owned and used as a family home.

AN 18th century orangery could become a new centrepiece at a historical country house near Beccles which is in line for a partial makeover.

A planning application has been put in to upgrade the living facilities and staff quarters at the 10-bedroom Gillingham Hall, which is privately owned and used as a family home. Improvements would include remodelling work on the first floor to give each bedroom its own ensuite, and an extension and improvements to kitchen and laundry facilities for staff, as well as developing a two-bedroom butlers' flat.

But the hall's new crowing glory would be the creation of a traditional glazed glasshouse orangery off the dining room, in the style of orangeries typically built in the 1700s.

The hall, which boasts 55 acres of land and stands off Church Road in Gillingham, is not only a grade II listed building but is also covered by conservation area regulations. In 2005 when it was put up for sale it was valued at £2.25m.

Queen Elizabeth I gave the manor to Sir Nicholas Bacon, Keeper of the Great Seal. The hall was built by his son Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor, in 1612, with additions being made over the following two centuries. It stayed in the family until it was sold in 2000.

It is now owned by Gillingham Trust, and The Honourable Edward Haughey, eldest son of Lord Ballyedmond, is the beneficiary.

A spokesman said that the refurbishment programme would start as soon as planning permission and listed building consent is obtained, and would be done in a manner sympathetic to its period.

South Norfolk Council will make the decision on both applications.

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