Historic Crook Hall in Durham is taken over by National Trust

The National Trust has announced it has taken ownership of Durham’s historic Crook Hall and will reopen the site this summer.

Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 11:36 am

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Like many of the buildings in Durham City, Crook Hall has a rich history. It began life in the 13th century as a medieval hall and was added to over the years with a Jacobean Manor house which merges into a Georgian Town house.

As well as a visitor attraction, the privately-owned hall was a popular wedding venue, before the pandemic led to it closing in 2020 and it being put up for sale.

Now, The National Trust has announced it will reopen the Grade I-listed medieval hall and gardens for summer 2022.

Crook Hall is on the banks of the River Wear in Sunderland

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It adds to the charity’s North East portfolio which includes Penshaw Monument, Gibside, Washington Old Hall, Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, Seaton Delaval Hall, Wallington and Cragside, as well as approximately six miles of the Durham Coast.

Eric Wilton, General Manager for Crook Hall and Gardens, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors – old and new – back to Crook Hall and

Gardens very soon. It’s a historically important and locally cherished place, which the National Trust is delighted to be taking into our care. The hall, cafe and beautiful gardens have been closed to the public for over 18 months, so we’ll be spending the coming weeks carrying out the necessary work required to open the doors again.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the National Trust here, so close to the city centre. We look forward to playing our part in bringing visitors to this globally renowned city and the surrounding area. The site is also close to National Trust owned Moorhouse Woods, just to the north of the city. We hope to develop a longer-term project that will help to improve access to this green space stretching from Crook Hall, creating a nature-rich green corridor between the two sites and beyond.”

Keith and Maggie Bell, who had owned the hall and gardens since 1995, said: “We are delighted that the National Trust are becoming the custodians of Crook Hall and Gardens. We are happy in the knowledge that the property’s future is secure.

"Our links with the property will not be broken. As National Trust members we look forward to regular visits to this beautiful place.”

The National Trust plans to re-open the gardens, café and parts of the house, including the medieval hall, by summer 2022. In the meantime, work will be carried out to prepare site ahead of opening, including the recruitment of staff and volunteers.

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