BESSINGHAM BESSINGHAM MANOR Restoration of Derelict Victorian Manor House Entrant: William and Dawn Hickey (Owners) 2014 Bessingham Manor has a long and somewhat chequered history. The original medieval manor house constructed from flint and brick with a thatched roof mysteriously burnt to the ground shortly after its Victorian replacement was completed in 1870. The estate was long associated with the Spurrell Family who owned the land up until 1952. The three-storey red brick Manor we see today, was constructed with a vaulted cellar, eight main bedrooms, four servants sleeping quarters and four reception rooms. The 52 acres of the original estate steadily got sold off and sub-divided over time until just 5 acres remain. Due to the cost of upkeep the Spurrell family were forced to sell the Manor in 1952 to Robert Gamble. Unfortunately he found general maintenance too much and a poor quality roof repair led to massive water damage and partial collapse of the second floor. The estate went up for auction in 2009 and was eventually sold to Norwood Developments in 2010. During the intervening time the Manor suffered badly from theft of original features and continued to spiral into serious disrepair. Planning permission was granted for a new pastiche Manor House to be constructed as the Victorian building was deemed structurally unsafe and was scheduled to be demolished in Feb 2013. At this time the condition of the building was in such a poor state that most of the floors were missing and in a number of areas it was possible to view through all three floors to clear sky above. The house was also suffering badly from wet and dry rot throughout. The new owners however stepped in and decided the Manor was too nice to lose and took on the immense task of restoration. In just 17 months the house has incredibly been turned around. The owners have very much tried to keep the Victorian character of the building and this latest phase is another remarkable step in the buildings history.