The Village, Castle Eden

Guide price

BEST & FINAL OFFERS REQUESTED BY 5PM ON FRIDAY 19TH FEBRUARY 2021. Please contact GSC Grays for an offer form. A Grade II Listed former church dating back to 1764 set in the grounds of approximately 1 acre. Planning consent has been granted for the conversion into a four bedroom detached dwelling under REF DM/17/02618/FPA. The grounds extend to approximately 400 square metres and the church itself boasts a gross internal area of 2,183 Sq Ft (240 Sq Metres).


The marketing of this property is being undertaken by GSC Grays on behalf of The Anglican Diocese of Durham and the Church Commissioners for England (Charity registration number 1140097). The Diocese shall make a proposal to the Church Commissioners, who will act as the Vendor.


St James is a charming former church that was built on the site of an earlier 12th century church and incorporates medieval masonry in the west end and Tower. St James is Grade II Listed, dating back to approximately 1764 and set in the grounds of approximately 1 acre. It has been closed to worship since 18th April 2016 and is available for sale for residential conversion. St James is an example of a Regency Gothic Revival church built, possibly, by the architect William Newton, who was engaged at the time in the construction of the listed castle and pleasure grounds in the same style built for the Burdon family which is now a historic park, garden and nature reserve. The principal church yard was closed mid 70's however an extension to the graveyard lies to the north east and contains recent burials. Please note that this area will not be included in any sale and will be retained by the Vendor.


Upon basic visual inspection, it is believed that the church construction is sound however roof and rainwater goods are in poor condition in places. The remedial cost will have to be incorporated into the cost of redeveloping the building into its new use.

The church sits in approximately 1 acre of historic graveyard, approximately 400m2 of which is available with the property for use as a garden. There is also an opportunity to create parking off road.


Access to the church yard is currently gained via a Grade II Listed gateway against the road, however, the planning permission allows for the construction of two off road parking spaces.


The church is situated on the northeast edge of Castle Eden Conservation Area and occupies a single plot within postcode TS27 4SL. It is just 800m from the B1281 which runs from Wheatley Hill to Blackhall Colliery and 1 mile from the A19. The former church is located 2 miles south of Peterlee and 6 miles north west of Hartlepool. (please note that all distances are approximate). Castle Eden is a picturesque village with its own golf and cricket clubs and scenic walks to the coast through the Castle Eden Nature Reserve, now the largest semi natural woodland in the North East. The site also sits within Castle Eden's Conservation Area. Castle Eden is rich in heritage, to the immediate north of the church is the site of the Medieval village of Castle Eden, a large settlement which is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.


Planning permission was granted on 26th February 2018 under reference DM/17/02618/FPA for the conversion into a four bedroom residential dwelling. The architects have prepared a sensitive and sympathetic design intended to provide an attractive new dwelling while still preserving the historic significance of the former church. Internally, a new floor level will be inserted within the nave to create a viable family home, forming a two storey property with living area below and four bedrooms plus a bathroom upstairs. This is to be accessed via a staircase inserted on the north side of the building. The sense of light and space of the original church interior will be retained by incorporating full-height voids running from north to south allowing for all stained glass windows to be retained. The chancel will retain its original height and volume becoming a kitchen and dining area. Works to the exterior will be light touch, limited only to making the building sound and water tight. The only exception is the insertion of two new roof windows, but these will not be immediately visible from the ground. A copy of planning permission is available upon request.


The above-mentioned consent was granted with the following conditions:

The development shall commence before February 2021 and in accordance with the approved plans.

Prior to development commencing, insulation is to be installed within the organ loft and a tree protection scheme plus archeological mitigation strategy must be approved by the Local Authority.

Details of access off the public highway are to be approved before occupation.


The church will be offered for sale freehold with vacant possession on completion


The property will be sold subject to and with the benefit of those rights of way, wayleaves and easements that might exist across the holding.


The property will be sold subject to the Church Commissioners' restrictive covenants which will be discussed with the purchaser but will include controls over the future use, alterations, access to the churchyard etc.


The site can be viewed externally, unaccompanied. For internal access, please contact GSC Grays.


The site is offered for sale by private treaty. Prospective purchasers are invited to submit expressions of interest incorporating the following information:

a)Proposed financial offer

b)Proof of availability of funds to meet the offer and fund the redevelopment


The vendor will consider which, if any, bids shall be taken further. The vendor will expect to select one or more bids to be taken forwards. The successful bidder will be asked to make a final bid including firm financial terms agreed and independent information that funds are available to meet the offer made and to cover the cost of the development. The Church Commissioners will sanction a disposal and in doing so, have to undertake certain legal formalities before completing the sale of the property.


Particulars were prepared February 2018. Photographs were taken January 2018.


GSC Grays gives notice that:

1. These particulars are a general guide only and do not form any part of any offer or contract.

2. All descriptions, including photographs, dimensions and other details are given in good faith but no warranty is provided. Statements made should not be relied upon as facts and anyone interested must satisfy themselves as to their accuracy by inspection or otherwise.

3. Neither GSC Grays nor the vendors accept responsibility for any error that these particulars may contain however caused.

4. Any plan is for guidance only and is not drawn to scale. All dimensions, shapes, and compass bearings are approximate and should not be relied upon without checking them first.

5. Nothing in these particulars shall be deemed to be a statement that the property is in good condition, repair or otherwise nor that any services or facilities are in good working order.

6. Please discuss with us any aspects that are important to you prior to travelling to the property.

01833 908027

GSC Grays - Barnard Castle

12 The Bank, Barnard Castle, County Durham

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