Time travel for Woodbridge building

ONE of Woodbridge's oldest buildings is to take a step back in time.The Ancient House, in Church Street, is 450 years old this year and also has a new owner after standing empty for nearly three years.

ONE of Woodbridge's oldest buildings is to take a step back in time.

The Ancient House, in Church Street, is 450 years old this year and also has a new owner after standing empty for nearly three years.

Marshall Hatchick solicitors have moved from premises in Ancient House Mews at the rear of the Ancient House and bought the historic building.

The solicitors moved in this week as part of their continued expansion in recent years and one of their aims is to turn the inner courtyard into a herb garden.


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Sue Allenby, an architectural historian, is advising the practice on the history of the building and she will prepare a design for a garden with herbs used in the Elizabethan period.

The building has been largely unspoilt through the centuries and timber beams have been retained - one is even encased by a cupboard. There is a view of the River Deben through a window of a top floor garret room.

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Mike Sparrow, a partner in the practice, said: ''Bringing in herbs like they used to have in Elizabethan times will be a step back in time."

The building was well-known in recent years when it was Noreen's tea rooms, run by Noreen Prichard-Carr.

The solicitors have decided to recreate one of the tea room traditions. Noreen's was famous for Citron cakes and Peter and Christine Wright, of The Cake Shop, Thoroughfare, are to make the cakes for the practice to hand out to clients on Tuesday mornings for a few weeks.

In later years the Ancient House was used by an architect and then a solicitor. Planning permission has been granted for the building to be turned into a house but Marshall Hatchick decided it was ideal for their business.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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