Apr 13

Durham Home To Be Revived For Over-55s


An historical property is to be given a new lease of life by being renovated as flats designed for over-55s to live in.

The Homes and Communities Agency has revealed that Thornley House near Sherburn in County Durham will be converted into 14 self-contained flats, including 12 offering sheltered accommodation and two general needs properties.

Registered provider Sherburn House Charity will be sensitively converting the property, which contains Grade II and Grade II* listed properties, using a £560,000 funding award from the government’s Affordable Homes Programme.

The building is already used for housing older people but currently has inadequate facilities. The work will include upgrading the bathrooms, which means those needing an easy access bath will be able to get it easily.

As well as bathrooms, other improvements will include better insulation, heating and an end to shared kitchen facilities.

Chief executive of the charity Pauline Bishop said: “The Charity Trustees acknowledged that the properties were past their best and required substantial investment to bring them up to standards required of modern living.”

She noted that the work was part of a five-year plan for the site that will also include a new 55-bed care home, homes for independent living and a shared house for four or five adults with special needs.

Grant funding was necessary to ensure many of the more expensive listed elements of the building were preserved, such as the Welsh Skate and stone slabs for the roof and the preservation of timber doors and cast iron rainwater drainage.

The site has a very long history, dating back to 1181 when it was founded by the Bishop of Durham as a hospital for lepers. In addition to the hospital building was accommodation for the monks and nuns caring for the patients.

It first gained listed status in 1952, with this last being updated in 1987.

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