The Red Barns pub and hotel in Kirkleatham Street, Redcar, was once the family home of Gertrude Bell - the remarkable mountaineer, archaeologist, linguist and traveller who was one of the first women to get an Oxford degree and became world renowned for her knowledge of the Middle East.
A Grade II* listed building dating from 1870, it was designed by acclaimed 19th century architect Philip Webb for local industrialist Sir Thomas Hugh Bell and his family - including young daughter Gertude.
It was converted to a pub and hotel in the 20th century and even became famous in the 1990s for having llamas and other animals in its garden.
But it fell on hard times in recent years and after the brewery pulled out - and with no other businesses interested - it has lain empty for months.
However, the building - which has a blue plaque recognising Gertrude’s achievements on one of its walls - could now be set for a new lease of life after plans were submitted to Redcar and Cleveland Council to convert it into family homes.
Applicants D&R Developments of Saltburn plan to convert the main building into four homes, with a separate application to follow for two more.
Several parts of the building will be demolished, but they are generally single-storey extensions of “low importance” dating from about 1910.
Documents supporting the application say that although the original building has been extensively altered over the years, “the original design philosophy remains intact and creates an interesting and attractive building, holding cultural and human historical fascination for many people.”
The design and access statement adds: “Red Barns has long been little used and the once impressive building has been somewhat neglected and crudely adapted for its various recent uses. The change of use will provide the catalyst for the revitalisation of the site and provide a unique opportunity to potential buyers to live in this historical building.
“The development of this land is hoped to mark the revitalisation of this much loved site, held in high regard by local people and in a prominent position at the edge of the Coatham conservation area.”
Public consultation on the “change of use and conversion” application ends next Friday.
Article from the Gazette Live: