Medieval tower poised to become 'unique' holiday let

The North West Tower next the the River Bure in Great Yarmouth.Picture: James Bass

The North West Tower next the the River Bure in Great Yarmouth.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Anyone on the lookout for a unique place to stay in Great Yarmouth will soon have a new option to consider.

The 14th century North West Tower on the River Bure, a former watchtower forming part of the town's 7m high wall, is being converted into a place to stay.

It follows the successful transformation of the South East Tower, which was refurbished in 2016 and garnered a crop of rave reviews.

There the accommodation is already fully booked for summer 2022 - and conservationists say the scheduled monument is ripe for the same success.

Bernard Williamson, chairman of Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, is excited at the prospect of the

Bernard Williamson, chairman of Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, in the Iron Duke pub - Credit: Jess Coppings

Bernard Williamson, chairman of the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust which is behind the transformation, said it was one of a number of quirky holiday lets - including "champing" in St John's Church - that were coming to fruition.

In time the trust might also look at converting Pinnacle Tower behind Poundstretcher in the town.

Funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund, among others, meant work could soon start at North West Tower, its old lookout role making it a good vantage point for watching the river with the White Swan restaurant next door providing another draw.

The historic South East Tower, Yarmouth has been converted and furnished ready for people to let as

The historic South East Tower, Yarmouth has been converted and furnished ready for people to let as a 'Glamping' experienece.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Under the plans, reckoned to cost at least £100,000, the conversion will start on the upper floor, the ground floor having no usable space.

It will likely sleep four and have its own parking area and garden.

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Although not over as many levels as the South East Tower it was wider, he said, and in better condition.

The historic South East Tower, Yarmouth has been converted and furnished ready for people to let as

The historic South East Tower, Yarmouth has been converted and furnished ready for people to let as a 'Glamping' experienece.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

It is hoped the tower could welcome guests this summer, although problems with materials caused by the pandemic could set things back.

Mr Williamson said the trust was trying to build up a portfolio of unusual lets that would give a new lease of life to buildings securing their futures and preserving the past.

Ownership has been transferred from Great Yarmouth Borough Council to the trust.

"It is a really good option and will create a unique holiday space," he added.

Building of the wall, the best preserved in the country with 75pc still intact, started in 1281 and continued for 100 years interrupted by an outbreak of plague in 1349 which wiped out about two-thirds of the townspeople.

The tower was used by the Broads Authority until 2003 and briefly by a firm of surveyors after that.