Victorian clifftop home at popular resort set for major renovations

Sole Bay House, seen here with its neighbour on the right, sites on the clifftops at Southwold

Sole Bay House, seen here with its neighbour on the right, sites on the clifftops with commanding seaviews - Credit: Google Street View

Plans have been put forward for refurbishment and alterations to one of Southwold's best known and grandest Victorian clifftop homes.

Sole Bay House stands on Queens Road, Gun Hill, and dates back to 1855 - though development of the site goes even further back to 1807 - and is part of the ‘Marine Villas’ character area of the Southwold Conservation Area and regarded as a building of local importance.

Originally Sole Bay House and the adjoining property Southwold House were one but were subdivided after the Second World War.

Its distinguished occupiers have included poets and novelists, and writer Thomas Hardy was a visitor.

In documents submitted to East Suffolk Council, architectural experts Paul Bradley Ltd, on behalf of owner Adrian Hibbert, said work to the main house would include foundation strengthening and remedial repairs, alteration of the attic floor to obtain enlarged bedroom accommodation and a new bathroom, restoration of all internal spaces, and replacement of windows. 

The studio would be rebuilt on a slightly increased footprint, a modern carport removed, a former garage converted to residential use, and a new garden room built.