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The end of a legend at Lotus

Team Lotus last week moved out of Ketteringham Hall, the team's home for the last 28 years. Team Lotus moved to Ketteringham Hall when Lotus Cars moved from Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, to its factory at Hethel, near Norwich, in November 1966. Built on the site of an 11th century castle, the neo-gothic stately home was bought by Lotus founder Colin Chapman from the Duke of Westminster, and initially it housed not only Team Lotus but also the entire Group Lotus research and development department.

Team Lotus gradually took over the hall as it expanded to create one of F1's strangest factories, the design offices filling the grand rooms of the hall and the fabrication departments the old farm building behind the main house. As Ketteringham Hall was a protected building the team was never able to build new facilities as it expanded.

As a result, even if Team Lotus does survive, it is unlikely that Ketteringham Hall will ever be its headquarters again.

Ketteringham Hall now reverts to the Chapman family, heirs to Colin Chapman, and is likely to be used in the future to house the collection of Lotus cars which the family owns. It may even be opened to the public as a museum.

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