West Lexham retreat rises from the ashes after devastating fire

PUBLISHED: 12:05 12 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:05 12 June 2015

West Lexham Manor. Pictured is Edmund Colville. Picture: Ian Burt

West Lexham Manor. Pictured is Edmund Colville. Picture: Ian Burt


A rural retreat has risen from the ashes to offer city dwellers somewhere to escape to the country and yoga-lovers a place to enjoy their pastime in peace and quiet.

Fire ripped through a former piggery at West Lexham Manor, near Dereham, three years ago, not long after the large brick building had been transformed into an education centre.

It is not clear how the blaze started but it is believed it may have been caused by the sunlight shining on a glass and setting light to a napkin.

Since then, the scorched embers of the gutted building have made way for a garden and the insurance money, together with a £100,000 grant from Defra has been ploughed into restoring the site’s 19th-century barn.

There are now 10 rooms at the barn, which dates back to the early 1800s, each with its own design and kitted out with reclaimed materials, from lights crafted from copper piping to doors made from recycled wood.

The large barn also includes a function room for those on yoga retreats, weddings, workshops and corporate away days, and a commercial-standard kitchen.

About 10 people work on the site, which is run by Edmund Colville and his wife Izzy.

The 36-year-old, whose mum Margaret also helps with the business, said they were “elated” to be back up and running.

“It’s a lifestyle as much as a business,” said the father-of-two.

“For everyone who works here it’s fun and for us, a family too, it’s really nice as well.”

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