STILL STANDING: The imposing front of Gainford Hall, which is in line for much need refurbishment
STILL STANDING: The imposing front of Gainford Hall, which is in line for much need refurbishment

BUILDING a residential development would provide the funds to restore a grade I-listed building in Gainford, according to the owner.

Residents of Gainford took the opportunity to look around one of their village’s most iconic buildings, Gainford Hall, an empty 17th

Jacobean manor house which sits on the edge of the


The owner, Raby Estates, held an open day to show off proposals for the building’s restoration and an associated residential development to the west of the village.

Details of the development have not yet been revealed but it would be built in a field near the entrance to the village.

The chief executive of Raby Estates, Duncan Peake, said: “Today is the first stage in our public engagement programme.

“As the proposals evolve there will be further consultations with locals.”

Gainford Hall was originally built for John Craddock, vicar of Gainford towards the end of Elizabeth I’s reign.

He was in touch with the latest architectural trends.

The hall’s layout of being two rooms deep was considered to be cutting edge for its day and it may be the earliest such house to be built in the north of England.

One resident, Jon Elphick, said: “I have lived in Gainford for a number of years and it is amazing to be able to come to see the building first hand.

“It is a really good chance

to see what repairs are needed.”

The hall, which has been owned by Raby Estates since the 19th century, is now in need of extensive repairs before any of its fabric is lost.

It is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register.

“Experts say the building is in a “poor” condition and in a state of slow decay.

Mr Peake said: “The proposed high-quality residential development will fund

the restoration of Gainford Hall.

It is envisaged the development will, in part, also aid the delivery of proposals for new leisure and tourism facilities at Raby Castle Park and Gardens.”

He added: “People have expressed a range of opinions about our proposals but, in general, people seem very keen to want to seek solutions.”

Ben Pentreath Ltd has been appointed by Raby Estates as architect for the potential housing estate.

Raby Estates is carrying out studies with the preparation of the initial housing designs.

Further work will take place during the summer with a community consultation on the proposed designs due to take place in September.

After possible further a changes following the consultation, Raby Estates hopes to submit a planning application in October.