Award winning Norfolk hotel & restaurant to be sold

Award winning Norfolk hotel & restaurant to be sold hero
They say every house has a story to tell, but few are as rich as Bank House Hotel and Restaurant which sits in the heart of King’s Lynn’s historic quarter, neighbour to perhaps the town’s most iconic building, Custom House.

Built in 1682 on the site of the former 16th century Port Tolbooth, the Grade II listed Georgian town house was commissioned by Sir John Turner, a wealthy merchant who imported wine to sell to Cambridge’s colleges and the Bishop of Ely, and the barrel-roofed cellars still lie below, ready to be filled by a keen oenophile.

An historic description from 1737 notes the statue of Charles I – flamboyant with all his curls – said to have been delivered unceremoniously by wheelbarrow after its removal from Tuesday Marketplace, which still sits at the front of the property.

A west wing was added in 1750, and in 1782 Joseph Gurney – later a founder of Barclays Bank – established Gurney & Birkbeck’s Lynn Bank here, demolishing the tolbooth to build the Counting House in 1788. The property has since been known as Bank House. Still later, explorer Captain Creswell, grandson of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, was born at Bank House, returning to King’s Lynn after mapping the Northwest Passage.

Noted by Pevsner as one of the town’s finest houses, the most recent chapter in its history is drawing to a close, with the property thriving as a successful hotel, brasserie and bar under the ownership of Anthony and Jeannette Goodrich who took on the site 15 years ago.

The couple had already built an enviable reputation as award winning hoteliers with the Rose & Crown in Snettisham, which they have owned for more than 25 years.

“We had been looking at King’s Lynn for some time, and when the agent showed us Bank House we were completely bowled over,” says Jeannette. “At the time, it had been partitioned up. I’m a great believer that historic houses should be used and appreciated and as we set about creating 12 en-suite bedrooms, each with an individual character, overlooking the river or staithe.

Retaining the original features, we added a contemporary style in keeping with a boutique hotel. We also created a series of elegant and welcoming dining areas.”

While the refurbishment brought it into the 21st century, ten years after the Goodrich’s arrival and reinvigoration of Bank House, the location was cast back in time as the setting for The Personal History of David Copperfield.

“The whole of King’s Lynn was turned into a film set,” says Jeannette, “and King’s Staithe Square was staged as a fish market with boats in the Purfleet. It was wonderfully done and gave you an insight into how vibrant the area must have been during that period.”

Having established a thriving business at the heart of the King’s Lynn community, Bank House is on the market as a going concern. A rare opportunity to invest in a unique property, there is vast scope for the next chapter in its history.

“It has enormous presence,” says Jeannette.

“The Cresswell, at the top of the house, has incredible views over the river and rooftops of King’s Lynn. Just like the Rose & Crown, I love walking in on a busy evening and seeing people having a good time, it’s a wonderful feeling. I take great pride in looking at the building and the impression it makes on people, it really is an amazing place.”

To arrange a viewing of Bank House, contact Sowerbys’ King’s Lynn branch on 01553 766741.