Historic Yarmouth building gets an outdoor makeover

A GREAT Yarmouth building steeped in history has undergone a transformation thanks to its current architectural tenants.

The Paul Robinson Partnership has spruced up the garden and carried out much-needed restoration work on The Old Vicarage, which is situated close to one the oldest parts of Yarmouth, near St Nicholas Church.

The architectural firm, based at the Old Vicarage, has reinstated Georgian style railings on the boundary wall and landscaped the front garden to include new turf, hedging, a landscaped border and selection of contemporary pots.

Eleanor Hacon is an architectural technician for the Paul Robinson partnership and is currently completing the final part of her BSC degree in Landscape Architecture.

She provided the landscape design for the garden, which has a modern style planting scheme featuring a herbaceous perennial border with ornamental grasses and a contemporary take on formal hedging.

She said: “We wanted to carry out this work to promote the benefits of landscape design.

“We also wanted to bring the frontage back to its original status. The new Georgian style railings have been installed under the supervision of our in-house conservation assistant.

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“An old section of railings – albeit small – gave clues to the original design.

“Our conservationist used this and research of various sources to produce a design and agree the proposals with the local authorities conservation officer.

“Sources included 18th century etchings, and 19th century and early 20th century photographs of the front of the building.

“The railings have brought back the original elevation treatment of the building and helped restore the presence of the Old Vicarage within Church Plain.”

A blue plaque was recently erected on the front of the building in memory of illustrious surgeon Sir Astley Cooper.

Sir Astley Paston Cooper, born in Brooke, Norfolk, in 1768, was renowned for his work as a surgeon and spent his early years in Yarmouth.

He won the Royal Society’s Copley Medal for his research for a paper on hearing acuity in two patients with perforated ear drums – the first time the condition had been prescribed.

He became the most famous surgical teacher in Europe and in 1813 became Professor of Anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons.