Restoration of historic Great Yarmouth building recognised

160 King Street, in Great Yarmouth

160 King Street, in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Google

Work to restore a 17th century building has earned praised by a national awards scheme.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust teamed up to save the Grade II listed building at 160 King Street.

The building is the only remaining example of a timber-framed building in the town centre, but had been vacant for nearly 10 years before being compulsorily purchased buy the council.

160 King Street, in Great Yarmouth, after refurbishment work on the historic building.

160 King Street, in Great Yarmouth, after refurbishment work on the historic building. - Credit: Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust

It was then sold to the specialist team at the Preservation Trust to repair and conserve the dilapidated building.

The Preservation Trust obtained £350,000 from the Architectural Heritage Fund for the 2021 project, which has now won praise with a Highly Commended citation at the Empty Home Network Awards.

The building's jettied timber frame, behind later additions, has been dated to 1642 by Historic England, but the building was in a severe state of deterioration and featured on the Buildings At Risk register.

Inside 160 King Street, in Great Yarmouth, before refurbishment work too place on the historic building.

Inside 160 King Street, in Great Yarmouth, before refurbishment work too place on the historic building. - Credit: Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust

It was painstaking restored by specialist contractors Medieval Masonry under the guidance and supervision of the Trust and architect Jeremy Stacey.

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It was formally opened in June 2021 by the minister for heritage Caroline Dinenage.

The town's preservation trust chairman Bernard Williamson said: “160 King Street holds enormous historic and architectural value. The design is characteristic of Great Yarmouth’s medieval Row houses and being able to bring the building back into use creates a significant and tangible connection with the town's past.”

160 King Street, in Great Yarmouth, after refurbishment work on the historic building.

160 King Street, in Great Yarmouth, after refurbishment work on the historic building. - Credit: Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust

Councillor Daniel Candon, chair of the council’s economic development committee, said: “Our heritage is really important to us.

"Our partnership with the Preservation Trust has saved many historic buildings around the Borough and helped find creative new uses for them.

"It is great to have that work recognised by the Empty Home Network Awards."

The citation in the Partnership Award category praises the two organisations for tackling the tricky project, which has seen a commercial unit created on the ground floor and a flat on the top two floors.

Caroline Dinenage MP cutting the ribbon at 160 King Street in Great Yarmouth, a building which has b

160 King Street was formally opened in June 2021 by the minister for heritage Caroline Dinenage. - Credit: Danielle Booden

While work is ongoing to transform the ground-floor into a restaurant ahead of an expected summer opening, the upstairs flat is now let.

“Whilst empty homes work is challenging at the best of times, dealing with listed buildings or those in conservation areas provides an additional layer of difficulty in the respect of providing advice, guidance, and support to owners,” it said.

“Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s relationship with the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust has ensured that not only are the council best placed and prepared to provide such support and advice to owners, but their work to restore, renovate and maintain prominent buildings within the borough will provide lasting benefit to the local residents.

“At a time of difficulty for the high street, the work done through this partnership continues to ensure that buildings that could potentially be at risk are monitored, maintained and supported in being brought back into use.”

Architectural Heritage Fund chief executive Matthew Mckeague said: “Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust is one of the Architectural Heritage Trust’s pioneering Heritage Development Trusts.


"160 King Street is an exemplar of the type of project we try to support: in this case, providing affordable homes through the regeneration of a significant heritage asset.

"This is the type of project we see as critical to the future of towns like Great Yarmouth."

A registered charity, the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust was established by the council in 1979 to restore heritage assets at risk and bring them back to viable economic use.

In 2019, the Architectural Heritage Fund awarded Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust revenue funding of £147,653 over three years to scale up its operation, following its successful bid to become a pilot Heritage Development Trust.

At the same time, the Trust was awarded a £350,000 capital grant towards its project at 160 King Street.

A £28,000 Heritage Impact Fund loan provided working capital for the project.