Raby

The Proposed Development

RABY ESTATES HAS SUBMITTED THREE PLANNING APPLICATIONS TO DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL WHICH SUPPORT ITS LONG-TERM OBJECTIVE TO SIGNIFICANTLY EXPAND THE VISITOR ATTRACTION AT RABY CASTLE, PARK AND GARDENS, BRINGING JOBS AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS ACROSS THE COUNTY, AND RESTORE ITS HISTORIC BUILDINGS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO ENJOY.

The proposals include an ambitious vision for Raby Castle, Park and Gardens’ role as a landmark tourism destination in the North East, along with the restoration of Gainford Hall. The work at Gainford Hall will be facilitated by proposed residential developments in Staindrop and Gainford, which have been developed in consultation with local residents.

The new developments will support the Estate’s ambition to share its rich and varied history with a wider audience, support ongoing maintenance and continue its vital programme of conservation.

The planning applications can now be viewed online on the Durham County Council planning portal. Click on the links below to view the applications:

Raby Castle, Park and Gardens Development

Staindrop Development

Gainford Development

Raby Castle

RABY CASTLE IS A GRADE I LISTED MEDIEVAL CASTLE WHICH WAS BUILT BETWEEN 1367-1390 BY JOHN NEVILL, 3RD BARON NEVILL DE RABY AND HAS BEEN THE SEAT OF LORD BARNARD AND HIS FAMILY SINCE THE EARLY 17TH CENTURY. THE CASTLE IS SET WITHIN 200 ACRES OF DEER PARK AND IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Raby is hoping to embark upon an ambitious programme of renovation and improvements at the Castle, Park and Gardens. A masterplan has been developed to inform this work, and there is an aspiration to secure a significant increase in visitor numbers, aligned with the County Durham Tourism Management Plan. Proposals for high quality residential developments at Gainford and Staindrop will fund the restoration of Gainford Hall primarily, as well as supporting the proposals for this new leisure and tourism development.

In addition to the physical improvements to heritage buildings on the Estate, the increased accessibility of the park land will contribute towards health and the well-being aspirations of Durham County Council, providing an asset of exceptional quality to the local community.

The planning applications that have been submitted have evolved in partnership with Durham County Council, culminating in a vision which builds upon the unique characteristics of Raby Castle and its history as an important heritage asset.

The proposals for the development at Raby Castle are far-reaching and will be phased to allow for staged investment. Raby seeks to retain its current visitors whilst also attracting new markets by interpreting its fascinating history in new and accessible ways. Raby has a long-established history of welcoming visitors and the newly designed spaces will continue this tradition.

Historic uses of the various components of the Castle site will inspire their re-use including the housing and care of carriages; the growing of flowers and vegetables and bringing them to the table; gardens laid out to provide both quiet contemplation and spaces to host concerts.

The main walled gardens will be re-landscaped, retaining key historic attributes such as the splendid yew hedges and water features. The Grade II* Coach House, already open to the public, will be re-purposed to create spaces for interpreting the history of Raby, classroom space and retail displays for Estate and local produce. The Riding School will form a magnificent venue for events and exhibitions of all kinds and the rarely seen Dutch Barn behind, provides a perfect setting for a range of events including covered seasonal markets. The development plans include a high-quality, bespoke children’s play area located within the old tree nursery to the north of the proposed car park

Raby is proud to work with superb local producers, and it is hoped that this network will grow as the Castle development evolves, further supporting local economic growth.

Raby Castle, Park and Gardens indicative images

Gainford Hall

GAINFORD HALL IS A LARGE GRADE I LISTED HOUSE, BUILT DURING THE CLOSING YEARS OF THE REIGN OF ELIZABETH I FOR REV JOHN CRADOCK, VICAR OF GAINFORD. ITS LAYOUT, TWO ROOMS DEEP, IS CONSIDERED ‘CUTTING-EDGE’ FOR ITS DAY, POSSIBLY THE EARLIEST SUCH HOUSE IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND.

Gainford Hall has not seen any major restoration for over 100 years and it is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, reflecting its need for significant and extensive repairs before any of its fabric is lost. The building recently came back under the control of Raby Estates and its removal from the at-risk register is a priority for the Estate, Historic England, and officers of Durham County Council.

Residential Developments

Following consultation with Durham County Council, it was determined that the most appropriate means of raising the necessary capital to facilitate the restoration of Gainford  Hall and the development at Raby Castle is the release of land in the Raby Estate ownership in the villages of Staindrop and Gainford for residential development.

The residential developments in Gainford and Staindrop will also assist in supporting existing services within both villages and contribute towards meeting the housing requirements of the County.

The design for each scheme is being led by Ben Pentreath, one of the country’s leading architectural practices involved in the design of traditionally inspired new developments. Their work seeks to draw from the best of the past, making places that are human scaled, timeless and long-lasting, and yet robustly designed for modern life.

It is the intention of Raby Estates to deliver the development directly rather than selling off the land to a housing developer thus ensuring that a high-quality development and a long lasting legacy is left for the benefit of the local community. Achieving a design style and concept which is sympathetic to the respective villages is of paramount importance to the Estate, with the intention being that both communities can be proud of these developments for years to come.

The Development Team

Raby has enlisted the assistance of a highly experienced team of designers to ensure the project is delivered sympathetically and to the highest professional standards. Raby is working with Ben Pentreath to design the housing schemes, and with respected heritage architects Donald Insall Associates on the Raby Castle buildings. Luciano Giubbilei has been appointed to design the Walled Garden scheme and Alistair W Baldwin Associates have provided the wider landscape design.

 

Staindrop Development

Further information about the Staindrop housing development is available to download below.

Staindrop Housing Development

Gainford Development

Further information about the Gainford housing development is available to download below.

Gainford Housing Development
Gainford Housing Development
Gainford Housing Development View Two

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The Story So Far

You can read more about the early stages of the development and consultation process here.

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