Imposing Queen Anne merchant house for sale in Southwold

17 Market Square in Southwold is up for sale 

17 Market Square in Southwold is up for sale - Credit: Fennel Chartered Surveyors

An imposing grade II* listed property has come onto the market in Southwold.

The property, which is at 17 Market Place, is a large original Queen Anne style house built in 1716 that dominates its surroundings with Roman Doric columns either side of the door.

The building - up for sale for £2.25million - has planning permission for a commercial section of more than 1000 sq ft on the ground floor and two apartments upstairs, though is in need of redevelopment. 

The 18th Century merchants house is one of the most impressive buildings in Southwold marketplace

The 18th Century merchants house is one of the most impressive buildings in Southwold marketplace - Credit: Fennel Chartered Surveyors

Originally occupied as a merchants house, 17 Market Place, is thought to have been ordered in around 1706 by the Thompson Family, who were wealthy traders and landowners in Southwold.

It is unclear if the house was built for the Thompson family to live in, or as a speculative investment but it was occupied by some of Southwold's most significant merchants until the middle of the 19th century.

Around 1848 the building was briefly used as a school, when for a short time it was home to the Sole Bay Academy.

Boarders' fees were to be twenty two guineas a year, and lessons in Greek, Latin, French, drawing, navigation, land surveying, music and dancing would be available at extra cost. 

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However, the putative headmaster, Henry Bransby was declared bankrupt in 1851, and his assets were sold to pay his creditors, ending the building's time as a school. 

From the last quarter of the 1800s to May 9, 2018, the building has been used primarily as a bank, with residential units in the upper floors. These have had separate access since the 1970s. 

At some point during the 20th century, an extension was built on the back of the building, out of Suffolk white brick, presumably to allow the banking operations inside to expand. 

The modern house has a roof terrace, offering unparalleled views over the market square, the marshes, and out to sea, as well as of both the town's churches, the lighthouse and the brewery.

The view from the roof terrace towards the lighthouse and brewery at the centre of southwold

The view from the roof terrace towards the lighthouse and brewery at the centre of southwold - Credit: Fennel Chartered Surveyors

Southwold itself is a small, attractive, tourist town on the north Suffolk coast known for its beer, and colourful beach huts. 

While beautiful, connections to the outside world are fairly poor, with only an infrequent bus service to Lowestoft or Norwich as a way out of the town. 

The property is on the market for £2.25 million with Fennel Chartered Surveyors. 

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