THE owners of a historic manor house have written a book about the trials and tribulations involved in transforming a private home into a tourist attraction over two decades.

Keith and Maggie Bell bought Crook Hall and Gardens, in Durham, 21 years ago as a family home and have since opened it to the public, built a cafe and

Mr Bell, a management consultant, has now written Blood, Sweat and Scones, a chronicle of their time at the hall, parts of which are thought to be 800 years old.

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He said: “This story is the record of what happened once we decided to open their front gates to the public.

“With absolutely no experience of the gardening nor the hospitality sector and little exposure to the difficulties of owning a listed building, this was an undertaking fraught with hazard.”

It features tales of the ghost of the house, the work that went into extending the gardens and the stories of events they now run.

Priced at £7.99, it is on sale at Crook Hall and will be stocked in bookshops later this year.