Fresh bid to save Hartlepool's 400-year-old Friarage Manor House

A fresh bid to save one of Hartlepool’s most historic buildings and make it more of a draw for visitors has been launched.

By Nic Marko
Friday, 4th June 2021, 11:29 am

Proposals have been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council planning department to carry out listed building repair works to the vacant Friarage Manor House, in Friar Street.

The plans, from Neil Hutchinson at Thirteen Group, state the Grade-II listed site is one of the oldest buildings on the Headland and is the last remaining structure of the original Friarage.

Historic England lists the building as: “Remains of c.1600 manor house, later used as poor house and latterly as hospital; on site of 13 Century monastic house”.

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The Friarage Manor House. Picture by FRANK REID

A heritage statement on behalf of the applicant states the proposals will be to repair and preserve the structure of the post-medieval mansion building.

It said: “Since redevelopment plans for the site and the building were put on-hold it has fallen into a state of disrepair and without intervention the building will continue to decay.

“The proposed work is to make the building watertight, stabilise the structure and carry out essential repairs and to secure the area around the building.

“The changes only seek to maintain and save the building and encourage interest in it and its history.”

The Friarage Manor House. Picture by FRANK REID

Plans were previously approved in 2014 for a residential development featuring 38 homes on the site, which would have included five terraced town houses, 11 bungalows and 18 apartments.

As part of the proposals the Friarage building itself would have been converted to form four separate two bedroom apartments with private garden areas, however work has not taken place.

The latest application would see external work to the building including repairs to the walls and roof to preserve the site, while a new door would be fitted and existing openings blocked up.

Internal work would include repairs to structural timbers and replacement floors installed.

The Friarage Manor House. Picture by FRANK REID

Additionally the development would include the erection of new railings for security, and landscaping work to improve the appearance of the site.

The “attractive” new fencing would help make the building more presentable, and an information board is also proposed to be installed at the site, according to plans.

A decision is expected to be made on the proposals by the council planning department by the end of June.

To view and comment on the planning application visit the Hartlepool Borough Council planning portal online and search reference number H/2021/0065.

The Friarage Manor House. Picture by FRANK REID

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The Friarage Manor House. Picture by FRANK REID
The Friarage Manor House on the Headland