AN HISTORIC building in the centre of Knutsford has been restored to its former glory by its new owners.

Marble Arch in King Street is believed to be one of the few Grade 2* listed small office buildings in the UK.

The building was bought in June 2018 by investment company EDMS (UK) Ltd, and planning approval to renovate and develop it was granted four months later.

The renovation work has cost around £250,000 and has taken 15 months to complete.

“The owners are delighted with the end result, to restore a building of significant historic importance back to its former glory while separating it internally to allow multiple occupiers to be able to work from a prestigious historic building with modern amenities,” said Duncan Selkirk, who is based in one of the offices in the building, on behalf of EDMS.

“We knew that bringing Marble Arch back to its former glory and making it into a prestigious place to work from was going to be a major and costly challenge.

Knutsford Guardian:

“We took great care to maintain its historic features and fabric, and feel we have achieved our goal of restoring a beautiful and historic building.

“We consider we have maintained the integrity of a beautiful building while embracing 21st century facilities. The building has been sensitively renovated with a keen awareness of its unusual and historic origins.”

The building now has eight offices, a meeting room, reception area, kitchen diner, galley kitchen and two bathrooms.

The owner occupies one of the offices, and Duncan’s business - Toft Financial Limited - is now based in one of the offices.

Four of the offices have been leased to Nice Associates, who are partners of St James’ Place. The remaining two offices have been leased to Maguire Family Law.

Duncan said Marble Arch was a very fine example of its type, with architectural relevance to the date of its completion at the start of the 18th century.

Knutsford Guardian:

He added: “The ‘Marble Arch’ refers to the stunning building above and to the righthand side of the archway viewed from King Street.

“This is part of the original larger building which was built in 1700.

“It was first known as The Mermaid Inn and then (after confusion on the faded sign) The Angel. Its purpose was a coaching house, and it remained as such until 1732.

“The central arch of the building welcomed its guests and their transport by offering livery for the horses and housing and maintenance for the coaches in the grounds behind the building.

“A simple stone-built mounting block still stands alongside the cobbled courtyard which served arriving and departing horse travellers.

“The area of land including the whole original building of the left and right sides of the archway and subsidiary buildings became known as Marble Arch.

“Historically, this name was adopted as its identity by the community of the time, ironically likening it to Marble Arch of London.

“The style and characteristics of this property is typical of a substantial number of similar properties of the early Georgian era built in Knutsford.

“However Marble Arch is believed to have existed on its present site as a timber-framed building for two to three centuries prior to the early 1700s.

Knutsford Guardian:

“It was a common feature to clad existing properties in brick and add multiple-paned windows to create the classic Georgian look. Marble Arch was part of Knutsford’s success in this period serving as a coaching inn.

“Its hostelry catered for travellers of all status and helped to bring fame and fortune to the town, which only previously had been a quiet market town

“In the novel Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, Lord Maulever stayed in Marble Arch while visiting Captain Brown.”