WINTER’S DALE: The derelict Unthank, in Harwood
WINTER’S DALE: The derelict Unthank, in Harwood

AN iconic upper dale property is finally being restored in one of the biggest refurbishment projects in Raby Estates’ history.
The ruins of Unthank, in Harwood-in-Teesdale, has been a popular location for artists and photographers.
The farmhouse, which overlooks stunning scenery across the dale with views down Harwood Beck and the River Tees, has been left derelict for four decades.
Raby Estates has been facing calls for a number of years to renovate derelict and empty farmhouses in the upper dale.
And now Unthank will be the latest to be brought back into use as a property to let.
Karl Hankey, compliance manager at Raby Estates, described the building as one of the upper dale’s landmark properties. He said: “The renovation is one of the biggest residential refurbishment projects in the estate’s history and it is hoped the completed three-bedroom property will be available for let next spring.
“The derelict farmhouse has been undisturbed for over 40 years and we have been working closely with an ecologist to protect the wildlife habitats in the area. A barn owl box has been put in place in one of the barns for nesting, and great care is being taken to minimise disruption to the natural environment.
“The roof timbers and floor joists will be replaced, having been exposed to the elements for many years, and there is currently no mains drainage or electricity. The task ahead is significant, but it is one that our small in-house project team feels very privileged to be tasked with.”
Raby Estates has already renovated another property in upper Teesdale – Spring Hill Cottage.
“It has been a fantastic experience for our whole team, including our apprentice who is learning his trade in a unique and very rewarding environment,” Mr Hankey said. “At Spring Hill our challenge was to retain the original character of the building whilst introducing modern infrastructure to the property.”
Rather than installing traditional methods for heating and hot water, Raby Estates fitted an eco-friendly air-source heat pump.