Restoration work is underway on the 18th century Coach House and Stables here at Raby Castle, a key part of ‘The Rising’ development, the ambitious project to restore historic buildings to create a unique new visitor experience for 2024.
The prominent Grade II* listed Coach House and Stables reflect the Vane family’s long-standing passion for horses. The buildings were designed by renowned architect John Carr in the late 1700s, to house the family’s collection of heritage carriages, as well as its horses. As part of the restoration, each of the buildings’ original features, including cast iron Victorian stable partitions, have been refurbished and repurposed to create a unique heritage space, which will be used for beautiful retail and exhibition areas.
Showcasing Raby Estate’s rich past, the Coach House will house a free-to-enter exhibition, giving visitors a taste of what is to come when venturing into the historic castle, surrounding parklands and wider areas of the Estate.
The centrepiece of this exciting exhibition will be an audio-visual projection onto a bespoke carved oak eight metre table, sourced sustainably from the Estate, crafted by local artisan furniture maker Anthony Nixon, of Barnard Castle. The projection will showcase the unique Teesdale landscape, part of the wider Estate, and highlight iconic landmarks such as High Force Waterfall, as well as the sights and sounds of the local area and wildlife
In the neighbouring Tack Room, extensive refurbishments are underway, restoring and conserving items from Raby’s proud equine history, including saddles, bridles, carriage sets and a traditional travelling chest which belonged to Henry Vane, 2nd Duke of Cleveland when he served in the 75th Regiment of Foot. Each restored piece will be displayed in its historic setting.
The Drying Room, traditionally used for storage, will include an additional audio-visual display, presented by Lord Barnard, in which he will provide insight into the work of the wider Estate.
Adjacent to the exhibition space, will be a beautiful new retail space, offering a curated selection of homeware and gifts, displayed on reclaimed furniture from across the estate. Raby’s philosophy is local wherever possible, with the retail space offering high-quality, artisan gifts you can’t find anywhere else.
“The Coach House and Stables have been a fundamental piece of our family’s history”, says Lord Barnard, “and we are pleased that it will play such an important role in Raby’s future. As well as displaying elements of Raby’s equine history, we are delighted to be offering an improved retail space to our visitors, presenting local products – many from our own estate.”
“The restoration of this beautiful heritage building will ground visitors in Raby’s fascinating history”, says head of leisure and tourism, Claire Jones. “Key to its development was the safeguarding and celebration of its original features, whilst repurposing it for an exciting future.
“We want to embrace and celebrate Raby’s unique appeal, creating memorable visitor experiences for all. We look forward to welcoming guests to this unparalleled heritage setting for the opening in spring 2024.”
For further information on The Rising, please visit: www.raby.co.uk/about-us/development/raby-castle-development/