Haverhill, Suffolk – October 26, 2023
An architectural gem that has stood the test of time, the Haverhill Corn Exchange, a Grade II-listed church, is set to be auctioned for a mere £150,000. The 19th-century Suffolk building, nestled on Withersfield Road, has been a prominent landmark in the town since its construction in 1889. Despite its grandeur, the building has remained vacant and deteriorating for over a decade, awaiting a passionate restorer to revive its former glory.
Originally built as a trading market for the town, the Corn Exchange has a rich history. Although its days as a corn exchange were brief, it served as a vibrant community center during the late 19th and early 20th centuries before being acquired by St Felix Catholic Church. A freehold property, the Corn Exchange was sold to a developer in 2006 but has since fallen into disrepair.
Spanning over 2,300 square feet, with an additional 700 square foot basement, the Corn Exchange is now being advertised as an “excellent redevelopment opportunity” by Auction House. West Suffolk Council has already granted permission for a change of use to a restaurant and bar in 2007, showcasing the potential for imaginative redevelopment.
The building, designed in a Renaissance Revival style, boasts a striking exterior crafted from red brick with a single-storey gabled front. Although the original glazed roof has been replaced with slate, many of its distinctive features, including the symmetrical three-bay frontage, remain intact.
Internally, the Corn Exchange features a spacious main open-plan ground floor area with an extensive cellar space. Its awe-inspiring 30-foot ceiling height and unique arches at the eastern end add to the building’s character, making it a prime canvas for creative restoration.
Local authorities, including Joe Mason, Suffolk County Council representative for Haverhill, have voiced their support for the revival of this historic structure. “It is high time we have someone take on this building who can restore it to its former glory,” Mason emphasized, echoing the sentiments of many in the community.
The Haverhill Corn Exchange will go under the hammer via livestream auction on Wednesday, November 1, courtesy of Auction House East Anglia. This auction marks a significant opportunity for individuals or developers passionate about preserving history and shaping the future of this iconic Suffolk landmark. As the town holds its breath, the fate of the Corn Exchange hangs in the balance, awaiting the touch of a visionary restorer to bring it back to life.