Restoration of Earlham Hall Courtyard buildings to go ahead
Planning permission has been granted for the restoration, alterations and repairs to the courtyard buildings at Earlham Hall at the University of East Anglia. The project, designed by LSI Architects, will allow the School of Law and the Enterprise Centre at the UEA to use the buildings as ancillary seminar and meeting rooms.
The work will be undertaken in 2 or 3 phases and will involve the refurbishment of the former coach house/ stables to create new seminar spaces and associated facilities, refurbishment of an existing single storey garage to form consulting rooms and reception for the Law Clinic, an outreach facility of Norwich School of Law. A coal house will also be refurbished to create a new gallery for interpretive displays associated with Earlham Hall.
Trevor Price, Partner at LSI Architects said “The proposals are integrated in the Grade II* buildings in a sensitive way to retain the unique character of an attractive collection of red brick utilitarian buildings while achieving an arrangement of interiors that accommodates modern, bespoke seminar spaces and facilities within an historic fabric and context.
By re-using the existing stables, coach house and staff accommodation, this sensitive conversion will retain existing features and finishes to tell the story of the previous uses. Domestic features such as an existing stair and stove will be retained in what was the domestic wing. Saddle hooks and timber panelling will be kept in the tack room, and stalls and stable blocks will remain in the stables. The conversion will provide levels of comfort and usability fit for 21st century university use, whilst the seminar rooms will be connected to the law clinic via a new minimal glazed single storey link. The completion of this restoration project will provide an appropriate and attractive courtyard setting to Earlham Hall and will create a series of uplifting spaces for staff and students to enjoy.”
The Grade II* listed Earlham Hall is of national importance as a domestic property continuously occupied and developed over four centuries. It is, in addition, of significance as the former home of Elizabeth Fry and through her connections with the Quakers and locally important figures in politics and banking.
Between 1931 and 1962 the Hall and outbuildings to the east had a range of uses including nursing home, war time maternity home and as an infant’s school for the West Earlham Estate. The outbuildings gradually fell into disuse until purchased by UEA in June 2010 but the diverse uses of the building associated with the local community during the middle part of the C20 mean that there are many people locally who have personal links with Earlham Hall.
The refurbishment of the Main Hall and landscape proposals for the surrounding areas were completed in 2014 by contractors Kier over a two year period.