San Luigi House in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, has been the home of my family and I since 2015, and reflects my passion for the Victorian era. I have known King’s Lynn since childhood, having spent family holidays here. The heart of the house is a barn conversion, with the barn dating back to 1837 and the original, much-worn, stone entrance steps still preserved. Around 1860, the barn structure was remodelled and the remainder of the house built around it, with further extensions being added in the later twentieth-century. Described as “of leading architectural style”, the house shares some similar aspects with a number of contemporary Victorian buildings in King’s Lynn, such as its railway station. Until 1905, the house was part of the adjoining Glaisdale House (subsequently renamed Plaxtole House) estate and served as its lodge house. In the early years of the century, it was owned by one Thomas W. Bonham, who set up a coal and coke business in the grounds. This was clearly unpopular with the neighbours, and a covenant was established to prevent such a business use after Mr Bonham’s departure.
I have undertaken a number of restoration projects since my arrival, and have endeavoured to keep (and enhance) the house’s very distinctive character throughout. A major project was the creation of the Vilatte Chapel in the grounds. Formerly a storeroom, this work was a labour of love ably assisted by local builders and craftspeople. The chapel was consecrated on St Louis’ Day, 25 August 2016, and is registered by the General Register Office as a place of meeting for Religious Worship in accordance with the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855.