Mr. Arthur Massen, from the building company, has carried ou t several developments in the village. "I want to be able to do something which will benefit Dersingham as a village," he said. "We could have developed it as a residential site, but decided on this because it will provide something for the community," he added.
Permission has been granted to convert the building into a hotel which will provide 18 bedrooms all en suite, some of which are specially designed for the disabled. There will also be a bar in an area to be named The Gamekeeper's Lodge and which has previously been used for auctions and a social club. This bar will be open to members of the public. "There have been rumours to the effect that we will be having an off-licence, which is not true," said Mr. Moe He has also heard that there were fears about cars parking in the road outside the hall. "We are providing a large car park inside the grounds, enough for 65 vehicles, which is actually more than we are required to provide," he said. The main entrance to the complex will be via the existing entrance on Chapel Road. Mr. Moe predicted that traffic would be no worse than it had been when the Old Hall had been used by the public in the past.
Work is due to begin on the Old Hall at the end of this year and it is hoped to be completed for use by the spring of 1990.
The Hall dates back to 1670 when it was built as the family home of the Pell family. Later it went into the ownership of the Royal Estate and was then purchased by a well-known market gardener named Jannoch. From the late 1950s to 1975 the property was run as a social club and in recent years auctions have been held there. Now, in a state of crumbling disrepair, it is hoped it will soon be restored to its former grandeur at the turn of the century.
North West Norfolk Advertiser Thursday May 31 1990
Soap star Seth opens lodge
Stan Richards, better known as gamekeeper Seth Armstrong in the Yorkshire Television soap opera "Emerdale", opened the new Gamekeeper's Lodge at Dersingham Hall last Saturday. He is pictured above with Simon Massen who runs the Gamekeeper's Lodge. Also at the VIP opening was North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham.
The next stage in the four-star hotel and leisure development at the Hall involves the the main hotel building set to open in the autumn.
There will be nine bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. The leisure centre, with swimming pool, solarium and gym, is due to take its first customers early next year.
Work on the hotel will be helped by the English Tourist Board, the Rural Development Council and the East Anglia Tourist Board.
A conference centre called the Pell Room is available for hire at the Gamekeeper's Lodge.
Mr Simon Massen, a director of Leisure 90 said, "The Lodge is something everyone will be welcomed to; I want it to become a real part of the village".