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History of striking Norfolk building uncovered

A prominent marketplace building will return to the community as Sowerbys Estate Agents relocates its Kings Lynn branch.

The story of a prominent and intriguing King’s Lynn building is being unravelled as restoration work prepares it for a new chapter with Sowerbys’ Estate Agents.

The Norfolk Property Specialist’s King’s Lynn branch aim to relocate from the current office on King Street to Bank Chambers, in the Tuesday Marketplace.

When the team got the keys to the iconic building last year there was no doubt a lot of work was needed – but no one was expecting to uncover what they found.  

From the names of local people etched in the window shutter, to what is considered to be the first wallpaper hung on the medieval timber frame wall still in place.



Could this be the first wallpaper hung on the medieval timber frame wall?


On purchasing Bank Chambers, Max Sowerby, Managing Director, said: “In my eyes it’s one of the most attractive buildings in King’s Lynn.

“I was saddened that it had simply been let go and I felt, being the face of the marketplace, it deserved the time and investment to re-shine as a significant landmark in King's Lynn's incredible history.

“As work got underway – and the true significance of the building’s history within the community came to light – everyone in the team has simply become captivated. Even more excited still to move in and a be a part of the next chapter in this building’s story.”



The beams and brickwork will become a feature wall


Lloyd Sandy, Managing Director, added: “Max and I both began our careers in King’s Lynn back in the 1980’s so the town holds a very special place in our hearts.

“While No.1 King Street has been a loving home for our King’s Lynn sales and lettings team since 2006, the business continues to grow and we need more space.

“It’s vital to us that we remain a part of the high street and offer a space for clients to experience face to face local and unparalleled service.

“At the same time, Sowerbys is helping rejuvenate the Tuesday Market Place as a whole.”

Known for breathing new life into historic Norfolk property, all but one of Sowerbys' nine branches across the county are grade II listed buildings.

Bank Chambers most recently housed an oriental buffet restaurant, though the far more intriguing history and local Hanseatic heritage will be celebrated with its new look.



Managing Directors Lloyd Sandy (front left) and Max Sowerby (back left) with 
company Director Ginny Studd (centre), King's Lynn Property Specialist Grace Read (right) and 
members of New Space Builders assess the work to come in the early days of the project.


Max said: “There are a few reasons we have decided to make this move; practically speaking, we have outgrown our King’s Lynn office.

“But moreover, like with all our branches, we want to create an environment where the team are inspired to work and develop – and most importantly, a space where our clients will receive the most exceptional customer experience.”

The branch will include an area created specifically with client and visitors in mind; Sowerbys’ Norwich and Dereham branches similarly offer this style of client lounge, described as a place to ‘put down your shopping bags, enjoy a coffee or catch up on important work’.

Max said: “For us it is not all about business; it’s about community and building lasting relationships. A client is for life and we want to make sure everyone who comes through the door feels that way.

“When you walk into Bank Chambers you will not only feel you are walking back in the footsteps of the original owner and merchant, but you will be met with a calm, beautiful space.”



Do you recognise the names of local people etched into the shutter?


Creating that environment comes down to a team of local professionals including New Space Builders, Betts&Co decorators, and interior designer Collette Hanlon of Homestagers, Premier Electrics and Plumbing, Architect Daniel Wallage of Wait and Wollage.
 
Thanks also goes to Steven King the senior Listed Buildings Officer who was equally passionate to save and preserve the wonderful character of the property.



Drawings uncovered on the shutters and walls


Lloyd concluded: “We are beyond excited to continue to bring an unrivalled experience for anyone looking to buy, sell, let or develop, to the town.”

“Tuesday Market Place is evolving yet again. From the days of crowds flocking to peruse stalls and the echo of traders selling local goods, to the iconic visiting Mart each year and much-loved Festival Too, people have and will always recognise the square as a place to meet and connect.

“Now we want to be a part of the next chapter in this square’s history – we want to be a catalyst for recognising the past and uniting for the future.

“We must come together as a community and invest in our high street; else we are in danger of losing them altogether.”




Work is expected to be completed by late March.

You can follow the entire journey of Bank Chambers restoration at across Sowerbys' social media channels.



Work begins: (from right) Managing Directors Max Sowerby and Lloyd Sandy with New Space Builders