THE National Trust could buy a Grade I-listed hall – which would be its first property in County Durham.

The heritage conservation charity for England, Wales and Northern Ireland is in talks with the owners of Crook Hall and Gardens in Durham.

The site, a popular venue for weddings and tourists until it shut last summer, holds a medieval manor house which is one of the oldest inhabited houses in the city.

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Last June, Maggie and Keith Bell, who lived and worked there from 1995, announced the business was going into liquidation and the venue was closing because of the “insurmountable challenge” posed by the economic effects of the Covid-19 lockdown.

A spokesperson for the National Trust said: “The National Trust is in conversation with the current owners of Crook Hall and Gardens about its future and how this Grade I listed Manor House, Medieval Hall, gardens and countryside could provide the community and visitors better access to nature, beauty and history in County Durham.

“Our discussions are ongoing, and we will share more information as these conversations progress.”

The Northern Echo:


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