See how former Haven pub in Ipswich has been transformed
When Ipswich brewers Tolly Cobbold went on the expansion trail in the 1930s they built some rather grand pubs, in Ipswich and beyond, in a mock baronial style.
It was a golden age for pub-going. Television hadn’t arrived to keep people at home in the evenings - pubs, the cinemas and dance halls were the big areas where people found their entertainment.
These impressive new pubs including The Haven, The Cricketers, the Suffolk Punch, The Safe Harbour and The Waveney, all had large bar areas and function rooms, and beer gardens for the warmer days.
The red brick gables and chimney are said to be based on Helmingham Hall, the stately home of the Tollemache family.
There are fewer of these pubs now, as society and pub-going habits have changed.
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The Haven, in Felixstowe Road, was at the heart of its community in earlier times. More recently it became The Crown, and it had been threatenedd with demolition.
Now experienced local property developer Duncan Foster is converting this landmark building into luxury homes.
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The main building will be three large townhouses, of five, four and three bedrooms, and there will one new build home linked on the end of the new terrace.
Agents Fenn Wright are planning an open day, for potential buyers on Saturday September 30, from 10am to noon.
I met Duncan Foster, and Jason Sewell of Fenn Wright, for a tour of the show house and the site.
The show house, which is already reserved at £465,000, is a five bedroom home which includes the original pub staircase, which has been restored, and has a light well above with a lantern skylight.
From the front door a hallway leads to the ground floor rooms and a luxury kitchen/dining/family room which has bi-fold doors leading to the courtyard back garden.
The final touches are being made ready for an open day.
Duncan Foster said: “It has taken about nine months so far.
“It has been hard work. I think I have enjoyed it more than any other building project I have done.
“We have taken more than 500 tonnes of rubble out of the pub, by hand and wheelbarrow.
“It is great to see it really coming together.
“We are really, really pleased with it.
“I am proud of what has been achieved, and the team work involved.
“There are always unexpected things in a conversion project, which cost more of course.
“We have got good people who have worked with us for 15 years, who are really exceptional.”
We toured the new homes. They all have large rooms with high ceilings.
Each home has an original lantern skylight.
There are new double glazed aluminium windows, though the window shapes, and original stonework decoration remains.
The showhouse has oak and natural slate flooring and luxury bathroom suites.
In the garden of the new build house the original clock tower will remain as a feature as well.
There are wrought iron railings at the front of these new homes and parking at the rear.
Agent Jason Sewell added: “This is a very special building which has been saved. It is a great landmark again.”
Prices for the available homes range from £310,000 to £395,000.
More information is available from Fenn Wright on 01473 232700.