SPECULATION surrounds the future of a well known historic hotel in the North East after future bookings were cancelled at the venue.

Several people have contacted The Northern Echo after being told that their regularly booked events at the historic Judge’s Country House Hotel in Yarm have been cancelled - and the hotel’s online booking system has no rooms available beyond March 3.

An email seen by The Northern Echo which was sent to one couple said Judges “is in the process of being sold to a new company in the coming weeks” which meant the hotel was “not able to fulfill wedding bookings”.

A spokesperson in the email said they “completely understood the news would be stressful to hear” and they “apologised wholeheartedly for the inconvenience caused”.

The hotel confirmed in the same email refunds would be issued once the sale of the hotel had been confirmed and wedding guests would also receive a refund of their accommodation deposits in full.

When contacted by The Northern Echo last week and asked about room availability, a member of staff said that “bookings were restricted” at the moment as staff awaited news.

As speculation about the well-known local landmark continues online, The Northern Echo understands that multiple offers have been made to purchase the hotel, which has been owned by the Downs family since 1989.

Originally built in 1881, the country house Kirklevington Hall eventually came to host travelling circuit judges who were visiting Teesside to preside over local court proceedings.

Having fallen into disrepair in the 20th century, it was bought in the 1970s and turned into a luxury hotel.

The hotel currently employs around 40 members of staff.

The Northern Echo contact Judges for a comment but has not received a response .