Tuesday 31 March 2015

Country mansion for sale, Darlington

We're talking lottery win here. Or finding the rest of the Staffordshire Hoard in your potato patch.
Either way, it's not just the £500k-plus price tag but the cost of renovating listed Grade II*  Sockburn Hall (and potentially its scarily Grade-I listed church).
But it is such a beautiful dilapidated country pile. Just look at these pictures:

Even if two readers hadn't emailed me, I'd have wanted to feature it.
(Liam: "I did some work here last year – The current owners grew up here but sadly they are losing the battle to keep the place in one piece!!", and Pete: "It is a project that an old school friend has been running for the past 8 years, but sadly their funding is no longer sustainable... an amazing project if someone has the money!")
Plus then I read the pdf blurb and the bit about the previous mansion on the site and Sir John Conyer, 13th century slayer of the Sockburn Worm...!
Anyway, more pictures.

The property includes Sockburn Hall, the coach house and stable block above, and the church.
Plus over 14 acres of land, adjoining the River Tees, including paddock, lime tree avenue and gardens.
The property is (was?) owned by the elderly Gatheral sisters. Their parents bought it from investors in the 1950s.
The Gatheral's niece Laura and her mum Sarah, with a hardworking group of friends and volunteers have been working since 2007 to try and restore it.
Their battle is documented on Laura's lovely blog here and this 2007 English Heritage report details the historical importance of that battle.
Sockburn Hall is on the market as a whole at offers over £500k, although the sale of the church is subject to agreement by Church Commissioners.
Agents are Jackson Stops - details here and PDF here.