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.