The owners of Barnard Castle's oldest house, featuring a popular interior shop and restaurant, have announced with sadness they are closing. 

Blagraves, a treasure trove of goodies, selling everything from cards and gifts to soft furnishings, was recently renovated to showcase the history of the building.

Announcing the news on Facebook, owners Eleanor Dinnes and her mother Louise said: "It with great sadness that I have to tell you with changes to our personal circumstances and Ill health we are announcing the closure of Blagraves.

The Northern Echo: Eleanor DinnesEleanor Dinnes (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

"We have had a wonderful time with you all, restoring the building to the best of our ability and hopefully we have conserved the building for future generations with the work we have done.

"I can't tell you all how much I appreciate all the love and support we have received from all our staff, customers and the local community and I am devastated we are going to have to sell this wonderful piece of history.The Northern Echo: Blagraves, Barnard Castle

"We will continue to be open during the day for the next few weeks and if you have bookings with us we will contact you in due course.

"With all my love and deepest regret, Eleanor and Louise."

Blagraves is the oldest domestic building in Barnard Castle. In 1484, it was given by Richard III to Joan Forest, whose late husband had been the Keeper of the King’s Wardrobe and who had reputedly smothered the princes in the tower. In 1648, Oliver Cromwell slept upstairs when his army was camped on the demesne nearby.

It has been an inn known as The Boar, the Shoulder of Mutton and the Bucket of Blood. More recently, for nearly 30 years, it was a highly regarded restaurant run by Elizabeth and Ken Marley. That closed before the pandemic, and Blagraves – named after the 16th Century family who lived there – fell dark.

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Eleanor Dinnes and her mother Louise took it over and in November 2022, it reopened as an interiors shop and restaurant.

The mid-terrace, four-storey property retains many of its original features, including heavily beamed, crested ceilings and large open fireplaces. 

Eleanor grew up in Weardale and then Cumbria, attending Barnard Castle School. After studying for a Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree at Manchester, she went into teaching and then sales.  

Furloughed during Covid, she quit her job before buying Blagraves in June 2022 with her mum.
The Northern Echo: Blagraves, Barnard Castle


The Northern Echo: Blagraves, Barnard Castle

The Northern Echo: Blagraves, Barnard Castle

The Northern Echo: Blagraves, Barnard Castle

The Northern Echo: Blagraves, Barnard Castle

The Northern Echo: Blagraves, Barnard Castle