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New home takes shape on site of old hall

PUBLISHED: 08:54 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:35 12 July 2010

Nigel Stringer with daughters, from left, Rebecca and Rachel, his wife Cindy, son Rowan and dog Wellington.

Nigel Stringer with daughters, from left, Rebecca and Rachel, his wife Cindy, son Rowan and dog Wellington.

The sweeping parkland once played host to one of south Norfolk's finest country houses.

But now a stunning 21st-century country home is being built on the site of the former Boyland Hall which was demolished in 1946 after falling into decline.

The sweeping parkland once played host to one of south Norfolk's finest country houses.

But now a stunning 21st-century country home is being built on the site of the former Boyland Hall which was demolished in 1946 after falling into decline.

Norfolk businessman Nigel Stringer is behind the impressive building that will provide a luxury family home for him and his wife Cindy and their teenage children, Rowan, Rachel and Rebecca.

Work on the Grand Design-style project is well under way and the family hope to move into part of the property in the winter.

Boasting 11 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, the contemporary building, set within 11 acres of parkland, will also feature a home cinema room and games rooms.

The eco-friendly pile is being constructed in a curved design to allow sunlight to filter through numerous glass panes, helping to keep the house warm.

Mr Stringer was given permission to build the house in 2005. The previous owners, Brian and Barbara Abbott, had been granted permission the year before, but decided not to go ahead with plans to build.

Mr Stringer said: “The idea is to create a contemporary family home as a replacement for the lovely old hall that used to be here. I redesigned it myself from an original plan drawn by architects and it is one of only a few exceptional new houses to be built in the UK countryside following a change in legislation.

“The idea is that the house is eco-friendly and will be heated by wood and solar heating, with timber being locally sourced. We will be able to get water from a spring-fed well and then all I need to do is find a way to generate electricity and we will be completely self-contained.”

Mr Stringer, who is doing a lot of the work himself, estimated it would take another two years to complete the ambitious house, which incorporates a granny/teenage annexe.

He is seeking to make some minor adjustments to the design to make the most of the building.

“The existing permission is for most of exterior to be clad in oak, but I rather felt it would look nicer and be longer lasting for the building if some of that were replaced with a brick exterior and that is what I am asking South Norfolk Council if I can do now,” he said. “This would mean the lower half of the house would be brick and the upper half would remain oak- clad.”

Mr Stringer said the main living room would feature a circular chimney containing a wood-burning stove, which will provide heat and hot water for the whole house.

The family has also been working on the grounds and they hope eventually to recreate a formal garden with a contemporary feel.

Mr Stringer said he and his family, who are staying on the site, intended to stay in the home for the foreseeable future.

“This is a family project and the children are enjoying helping out and cannot wait to paint their bedrooms,” he said.

“It is definitely a labour of love and I feel very privileged. To get such a lovely site in the middle of the Norfolk countryside is very rare indeed. Our intention is to build a house that will last another 200 to 300 years as the last one did.”


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