Northumberland country house saved from demolition

A Northumberland country house has been saved from demolition thanks to the Victorian Society.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 2:23 pm

An application notifying an intention to demolish Carham Hall, near Cornhill, had been lodged with Northumberland County Council on behalf of Henry Straker-Smith.

Planners offered no objection because the former care home, which closed in February 2020, was not listed as a heritage asset.

But following the Victorian Society's listing application, Historic England noted that it ‘cannot find any rationale’ for the building being de-listed in 1988 and presume an error.

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Carham Hall, near Cornhill.

The neo-Tudor Victorian country house has now been restored to Grade II listed status.

Dating back to a 13th century tower house, Carham Hall was largely rebuilt in 1870.

Joe O’Donnell, director of the Victorian Society said: “We are delighted that Carham Hall has been recognised as a high-quality building that deserves much better than demolition.

“Demolition and rebuilding would be a huge waste of embodied energy. In a climate emergency we must stop treating buildings as throwaway.

"Northumberland County Council should work with the owners to ensure that the hall is adapted for re-use rather than just left empty and deteriorating so that demolition can be pushed for again in the future’.

In the list description, Historic England describe Carham Hall as ‘a good example of an evolved English country house, whose location, scale and quality reflects its association with several prominent local families; its well-executed Tudor Revival design is enlivened by pointed and shaped gables, mullioned windows and multiple tall chimney stacks, which combine to produce a handsome principal elevation’.

A west wing was added in the 1920s by the significant Scottish architect James Bow Dunn.

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