THE STORY OF REYMERSTON HALL
ELIZABETH & KEITH HOLBROOK OUTSIDE REYMERSTON HALL
“My love of Norfolk began as a very young child. My father was born and raised in South America but fell in love with Norfolk when he married my English mother during the Second World War. They honeymooned on a farm in the Norfolk countryside and although he had travelled the world he believed there was nowhere quite so beautiful as Norfolk. So, each year when my friends were off to, what seemed to me at the time, exotic places like Devon & Cornwall we holidayed in Norfolk! And so the love affair began.
Keith and I have designed and built many country homes in Hertfordshire over three decades, we were contemplating a new lifestyle venture in Norfolk. We were having a much-needed weekend break in Overstrand when we saw an advert in the paper for an open day, the hall was to be auctioned in 2 weeks!
I shall never forget the first time I saw Reymerston Hall in all its dilapidation, both Keith and I completely fell in love. It was like the house was broken and needed us to save it. Even with the broken windows, leaking roof, knee-high water in the cellar and a wilderness of overgrown woods and gardens we felt we had the skills and determination to take it on. When my 17-year-old daughter saw the ruin, I thought she would say we were barking mad, but she smiled and said ‘I feel this is what you have been working towards your entire life’. Just the confirmation we needed.
But we lost it at auction and Keith didn’t speak for 2 days he was so disappointed. But I did say if it’s meant to be it will be… and 6 months later it came back to us!
Reymerston Hall (in its dilapidated state) was bought in 2018 and we undertook the ambitious plan of sympathetic renovation and conservation of this beautiful 200-year-old Georgian Hall, restoring it to its former glory.
I could write a book about the highs & lows, It’s been a very difficult journey with a devastating fire, a pandemic and subsequently financial difficulties. There were many times when we weren’t sure we would make it but giving up wasn’t an option, so 4 years later we now have a beautiful home which we share with our daughter Beth, 3 cats, 2 pygmy goats, and 3 adorable Aylesbury ducks. We opened our doors last year to Bed and breakfast guests when we emerged from lockdown, it’s been an absolute delight to see so many guests love the hall as we do. And now we have hosted our first weddings and brought the joy of Reymerston Hall to so many others.
I honestly feel there is nothing special about Keith or I, just 2 people following our dream but Reymerston Hall is a very special place indeed, it has a wonderful feeling the moment you walk through the door & if it could talk I know it would say ‘Thank you’.”