Grade II listed Fitzroy House is one of Lewes' most notable and iconic properties. Built in memory of Henry Fitzroy MP, the property was built in 1862 as a private memorial library commissioned by his wife Hannah and designed by architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, best known for the Albert Memorial. The building became the first public library for Lewes in 1896, frequented by Virginia Woolf and then was only relinquished, needing more space, in 1956. A glorious Victorian gothic building with its own clock tower, a balcony to the Eastgate Centre and an octagonal glazed atrium roof, are the main features, with the west elevation having a triple arch with circular window and gothic pillared arched window to the hall. The Friends of Lewes rescued the property and the Franks family lived there for some 40 years, refurbished and rebuilding. Internally, there is the extraordinary Fitzroy Octagonal Room, a literary space. It is surrounded by an exceptional wood constructed octagonal minstrel gallery with 6 feature shuttered windows and originally a central fountain, but currently with staging and a bar. The entrance hall has classic gothic arches, stone pillars with a shaped turquoise ceiling and a stairway with cast iron balustrades and wooden handrail. The private sitting room is the double-fronted reading room with an open fire. The building has high ceilings to rooms throughout. The ground floor has a kitchen to the front of the building and ground floor cloakroom, as well as a rear utility room, shower room and separate bedroom with double doors to a most attractive south facing walled garden to the rear. The first floor has two bedrooms, one with feature ensuite and a central bedroom which could have a separate entrance to the largest double front bedroom. The attractive landing leads to the minstrel gallery. The property has approximately 2,800 sq.ft. of accommodation, in need of some refurbishment, but with exceptional features including wood block flooring.
Fitzroy House is conveniently located in the Eastgate Centre, next to shops, banks, cafes and adjacent restaurants and hotel. There is a nearby car park to the south-east and it is within the historical centre, connecting School Hill (Lewes High Street), to the humpback bridge of Cliffe High Street. Lewes mainline Railway Station (London Victoria 1 hour, London Bridge 90 mins and Brighton 20 mins) is just a 5 minute walk.
Lewes is a stunning historical town with many attractive period buildings including the Norman Castle and Anne of Cleves House, surrounded by the South Downs and the River Ouse running through and the nature park just a hundred yards away from the property. There are excellent local primary and secondary schools as well as a superb community constituting many cultural and artistic clubs and societies.
ACCOMMODATION WITH APPROXIMATE MEASUREMENTS COMPRISES:-
Wood parquet flooring. Stairs to ground floor with wrought iron balustrades and wood handrail. Glazed door to minstrel gallery with side glazed panel and roof light.
16'3 x 8'9 (4.95m x 2.67m). Stone mullioned window with secondary glazing looking to High Street precinct. High ceiling. Cast iron fireplace with stone mantle. Solid wood door.
11'4 x 8'4 (3.45m x 2.54m). Wood casement east facing window. High 13'4 (4.06m) ceiling with exposed beam. Sunken bath with mixer taps and shower attachment, tiled splashback and glazed screen. Low level w.c. Pedestal wash basin. Deep storage cupboard with automatic light and shelves.
CENTRAL STUDY ROOM
12'8 x 8' (3.86m x 2.44m). Tall stone window with secondary glazing and double doors to Balcony 8' x 4'6 (2.44m x 1.37m), with wrought iron handrail and overlooking the High Street precinct. High 13' (3.96m) ceiling. Wood parquet flooring. Hatch to roof space. Fitted cupboard and 2 walls of fitted shelves.
BEDROOM 2 (MAIN)
20'3 x 15'2 (6.17m x 4.62m). Double aspect room with stone mullioned and cloistered windows to the High Street precinct and up School Hill to the west. High 13'6 (4.11m) ceiling. Stone mantlepiece with cast iron fireplace. Fitted shelves. Picture rail. Solid wood door and indentures to door frames. Heating grill.
OCTAGONAL SHAPED GALLERY
36' x 30' (10.97m x 9.14m) overlooking main Fitzroy Hall . 8-sided gallery with full circular walkway and with 6 circular windows. Glazed dome roof. Wood lower section with upright to a coliseum style gallery with shaped panels. Power and fluorescent light on 6 sides.
Arched door frame with double doors and stone arches above. Hexagon shaped ceiling and attractive stone arch with stone columns. Tiled floor. 2 Stone arches with 2 additional gothic columns to staircase leading to first floor, with cast iron balustrades and wooden handrail. Original Victorian tiles. Radiator. Wood glazed door to:-
15'1 x 9'3 (4.60m x 2.82m). Double stone mullion casement window with outlook to the high street precinct. Stainless steel sink unit with tops to each side and pine cupboards to side and wall cupboards and shelves over. Stainless steel 4-ring gas hob with pine cupboards over. Hotpoint double oven with cupboards over and under. 11' (3.35m) ceiling height. Marble top work surface. Pine dado panelling. Oak window to hallway.
8'9 x 8' (2.67m x 2.44m). Double casement stone mullion window with secondary glazing. Charlotte wash basin. Low level w.c. with wooden seat. Tiled floor. Pine dado panelling. Boiler Room with Worcester gas fired boiler and Megaflow hot water cylinder.
PRIVATE READING ROOM/SITTING ROOM
20'5 x 15'6 (6.22m x 4.72m). Double aspect room with double gothic arches, stone columns and arch to the High Street precinct and the High Street. 2 Wood shaped arched beams. Cast iron fireplace and stone mantle with wooden and indentured panelling. Further wood panelling. Heating grill. TV point. Double store cupboard. Exposed wooden flooring. Double doors to shower room.
FITZROY OCTAGONAL ROOM
36'8 x 37'7 (11.18m x 11.46m) overlooked by the octagonal gallery and domed ceiling light. 3 Double arch windows to east and to west. Tiled floor. Exposed timber columns and ceilings to gallery. 2 Stages for functions. Spotlighting. Arched stone window with porthole and double doors to entrance hall. 5 of 6 windows are original shutters. Door to bar area with wooden tops and cupboards.
Sloping ceiling with exposed rafters. Stone lintels and stone slabbed floor. 2 Windows to garden. Glazed double doors to courtyard.
Window. W.c with handle bar. Wash hand basin. Tiled walls and floor.
Shower cubicle. (not in use)
Storage cupboard with electric fuse box and fitted shelves.
ORIGINAL SKULLERY/UTILITY AREA
11' x 8'2 (3.35m x 2.49m). Sloping ceiling. 2 Windows to courtyard. Butlers sink. Space for fridge/freezer and tumble-dryer. Space and plumbing for washing machine. Tiled floor.
SMALL CELLAR SPACE
12'6 x 10'2 (3.81m x 3.10m). Double casement window and diamond over light.
32'3 x 19' (9.83m x 5.79m). South facing with high brick and flint walls for privacy with doors from the utility area and bedroom corridor. Raised border with fig tree. Double doors to Friars Walk.
TWO STORAGE SHEDS
Lewes District Council, Band F
Please note we have not tested any apparatus, fixtures, fittings, or services. Interested parties must undertake their own investigation into the working order of these items. All measurements are approximate and photographs provided for guidance only.
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