The former home of a bestselling novelist, also dubbed one of the finest townhouses in East Anglia, has come up for sale in Bury St Edmunds for £2. 75m.

Northgate House is described by selling agents, Savills, as one of the “leading residential properties in Bury St Edmunds and one of the best townhouses in East Anglia”, offering elegant and well-proportioned rooms as well as a large walled garden.

In fact , property agent Peter Ogilvie says it’s one of the very best he’s seen in his career. “This is a truly amazing townhouse and certainly one of the very best I have seen.

“It has been restored and renovated with exceptional flair, superbly blending period charm with contemporary style. ”

East Anglian Daily Times: The property offers a wonderful mix of contemporary and period living spaces - including amazingly intricate mouldings and open fires The property offers a wonderful mix of contemporary plus period living spaces – including amazingly intricate mouldings and open fires (Image: Savills)

East Anglian Daily Times: The house is situated just yards away from the Abbey Gardens The house is situated just yards away from the Abbey Gardens (Image: Savills)

The house is situated at the lower end of Northgate Street, just a few yards from the Abbey Gardens, and was once owned and occupied by Mrs Jorisch – better known as the mid-20th century novelist Norah Lofts, who died within 1983.

She wrote more than fifty books, many of which reflected  local settings, people and events, including her Suffolk trilogy which followed the history of specific houses and their residents over several generations.

Her writing saw her become a household name, and by the early 1970s, she had sold around two million paperbacks in Britain, along with others across Europe, Canada and Brazil.   She also won a National Book Award in the United States.

East Anglian Daily Times: Norah Lofts wrote more than fifty books and became a bestselling author in both Britain and abroad Norah Lofts wrote more than fifty books and became a bestselling author in both Britain and abroad (Image: Denise Bradley)

East Anglian Daily Times: An unofficial blue plaque, put up by the Bury St Edmunds society, lets tourists know where bestselling author Norah Lofts once lived An unofficial blue plaque, put up by the Bury St Edmunds society, lets tourists know where bestselling author Norah Lofts once lived (Image: Denise Bradley)

She later became a town councillor with regard to Bury St Edmunds and was active in the fight to preserve and protect the area’s local heritage.

Her home, Northgate House, is Grade I listed and was built mainly in the 18th century, although it’s actually constructed on a much earlier site and sits over a series of stone arched cellars which usually date back to the medieval period.

The main range has roof timbers originating from the 17th century, perhaps even earlier, although the bulk of the property is more in keeping with the Georgian era – including its impressive three-storey entrance porch.

East Anglian Daily Times: The property has been beautifully renovated and updated for the 21st century - but still held on to its character The property has been beautifully renovated and updated for the 21st century – but still held on to its character (Image: Savills)

East Anglian Daily Times: Period features include huge sash windows, distinctive panelling on the walls and several open fires throughout the property Period features include huge sash windows, distinctive panelling on the walls and several open fires throughout the property (Image: Savills)

As well as the extensive façade, the property offers elegant and well-proportioned reception rooms, sash windows, open fireplaces and extensive panelling.

The current owners have renovated and restored the home, blending the classic with the contemporary to create a sophisticated living space which is both practical and luxurious plus fitting for life in the 21st century.

Highlights include its ground-floor reception room, which has windows to two sides and looks out over the gardens, and the elegant drawing room featuring a patterned ceiling.

East Anglian Daily Times: The rooms are well proportioned and light-filled The rooms are well proportioned and light-filled (Image: Savills)

East Anglian Daily Times: The kitchen/breakfast room has been recently renovated with a new handcrafted kitchen The kitchen/breakfast space has been recently renovated with a new handcrafted kitchen (Image: Savills)

The particular kitchen/breakfast room has been recently fitted with a new and bespoke handcrafted kitchen, and there is also a boot room, utility space, snug and downstairs cloakroom.

The first floor is accessed by an impressive turning staircase, which leads to the en suite master bedroom, overlooking the gardens, plus five further bedrooms.

Ample wardrobe space is provided by 2 dressing rooms – although these could be used as additional bedrooms, if required – and there are four bath/shower rooms.

The first floor also has an upstairs lounge.

East Anglian Daily Times: Even the bedrooms are well-proportioned, with huge sash windows Even the bedrooms are well-proportioned, with huge sash windows (Image: Savills)

East Anglian Daily Times: The walled gardens extend to around 0.8 acres and have been beautifully maintained with well-kept lawns and pathways The walled gardens extend to around 0. 8 acres and have been beautifully maintained with well-kept lawns and pathways (Image: Savills)

To the northern end of the property there is a lounge, kitchenette and shower room, which is classed as a separate entity and has previously been let out as a separate flat.

Outside, the walled gardens are mature and private and include lawns, pathways and several borders.

There is also a paved terrace, pavilion and kitchen garden, as well as access from the courtyard which offers reserved parking for four cars.

For more information, contact Savills.

PROPERTY FACTS
Northgate Street, Hide St Edmunds
Guide price: £2, 750, 000
Savills, 01473 234800
www.savills.com

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