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Ipswich landmark is converted into luxury homes - take a look inside here

PUBLISHED: 19:48 06 June 2019

The Victorian former Cedars Spiritualist Church, in Anglesea Road, Ipswich has been restored and converted into two substantial homes by James Francis Homes. Outside No 2, developer Julian Francis Bobbin and site manager Duncan Shepherd. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

The Victorian former Cedars Spiritualist Church, in Anglesea Road, Ipswich has been restored and converted into two substantial homes by James Francis Homes. Outside No 2, developer Julian Francis Bobbin and site manager Duncan Shepherd. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Archant

The former Cedars Spiritualist Church in Ipswich has been transformed into two luxury four-storey townhouses complete with original Victorian features.

Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a committed spiritualist and toured the country lecturing on the subject. Picture: GETTY IMAGESSherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a committed spiritualist and toured the country lecturing on the subject. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

The Victorian landmark in Anglesea Road, famously visited by author and spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was originally built as a grand private home.

It was twice used as a school, including as a Finishing School for Young Ladies, before becoming a church.

But by the time developer Julian Francis Bobbin bought it in 2014 it was in a sorry state.

It was dilapidated and many of its original features had been lost or stolen over the years.

The ground floor of No 1, The Cedars, which has been restored and renovated by James Francis Homes.
Picture: DAVID VINCENTThe ground floor of No 1, The Cedars, which has been restored and renovated by James Francis Homes. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

He said: "Although it had lost a lot, it had been built well and was basically sound. It had been built by Frederick Barnes who was responsible for many important buildings including railway stations."

Mr Bobbin who ones development company James Francis Homes, set to work reverting the property back into residential accomodation, a project that would take more than two years.

He said: "We have gone to a lot of effort to create modern homes within a beautiful Victorian facade. We have tried to return the character to the place.

Now No 46 Anglesea Road has become two spacious, four-storey town houses each with upto seven double bedrooms, several reception rooms and plus scacious bathrooms and en suites.

"Walls and ceilings were stripped bare and doors re-made."

Much of the joinery has been hand-made specially for the project - the stunning rooms with high ceilings have new skirting boards and the large picture windows have replacement wooden sash windows.

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The original floorboards have been refurbished and plaster work and fireplaces restored.

Cast iron Victorian-style radiators and stylish chandeliers have been installed, and the homes have smart heating controls, security systems and CCTV too.

Mr Bobbin said: "This has been a labour of love - a lot of care and attention to detail has gone into it. We have done some big jobs before but nothing quite as challenging as this.

"We are very proud of what we have achieved. Hopefully somebody will soon be living here."

The colour scheme has been left neutral to allow buyers to put their stamp their own identity on these large family homes, which are approaching 4,000sq ft each and include spacious garages with electric doors and landscaped gardens.

Mr Bobbin explained that buyers would also be able to select the style of their kitchens, bathrooms and en suites.

Number 1 The Cedars has been extended into what was the former church meeting room, while Number 2 has the original cellars, now converted into a cinema and gym room. It also has the space to create a two-bedroom annexe or granny flat should the buyer wish.

Mr Bobbin said: "These each have lots of flexible rooms, many with superb views.

"The views are amazing. There are a lot of gorgeous buildings and lovely old trees in this part of town.

"You can see right across to Bramford in the distance."

The guide price for these homes is £1.25m to £1.35m and that includes a contingency to complete kitchens and bathrooms according to the buyers' choices.

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