Howzat: cricket pavilion for Second World War troops transformed into offices

Yorkshire small businesses stumped for new work space could be bowled over by an office on the Bowcliffe Hall Estate, Wetherby, with an unusual history.

Part of a £6million restoration at the grade II listed hall, a cricket pavilion that once housed Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War, has been converted into 1,120 sq ft of modern offices.

The single storey building features in the ‘The Pavilion Book of Pavilions’ by Jonathan Rice – the definitive guide to 50 of Britain’s most unusual cricket pavilions.

Once home to Bramham Cricket Club, the structure is the only known cricket pavilion in the UK to have begun life as a troop dormitory. 

Serial entrepreneur Jonathan Turner, CEO of the Bayford Group, who spearheaded the restoration project, said: “The pavilion has an intriguing history and was literally moved from Pocklington, East Yorkshire, to its current site.

“We wanted to breathe new life into as a contemporary office space that we feel will appeal to a small business looking for very individual work space.”

Ideal for a team of 12 people, the restored pavilion features a central reception area and its own kitchen facilities. 

Tenants will receive automatic membership of the exclusive Bowcliffe Drivers’ Club, which celebrates classic cars and evokes the romantic age of motoring.

The centrepiece of the transformation of the 200 year old Bowcliffe Hall is the iconic Blackburn Wing conference centre and wedding venue.

The aeroplane wing shaped copper and glass venue celebrates the achievements of Bowcliffe’s former owner, aviation pioneer Robert Blackburn, the first Yorkshire man to design and build a powered plane. 

Cricket pavilion at Bowcliffe Hall
The cricket pavilion at Bowcliffe Hall


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