Plans approved to carry out improvement works to one of the oldest buildings in Hartlepool

Improvements are to be made to one of the oldest buildings in Hartlepool after council chiefs granted permission.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 4:45 am

Work to repair and preserve the 400-year-old Friarage Manor House on the Headland will be carried out after landlord and housing developer Thirteen applied for and won listed building consent.

A contractor will now be appointed and work is planned to start in the autumn.

What remains of the manor house dates from the 16th Century and is built on the remnants of the precinct of a 13th Century monastic house.

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

Paul Jenkins, Thirteen’s executive director of assets, said: “We recognise it’s important that we preserve this landmark and historical building in Hartlepool.

"Now that planning permission has been granted, the next steps are to appoint a contractor to carry out the preservation work, which will make the building structurally sound.

“The work which is expected to begin early this autumn, will see internal and external improvements carried out to protect and secure the building.”

Work will include improvements to the roof to make the building wind and watertight, and repairs to the stonework and walls to preserve and reinforce the structure.

This building was part of St Hilda's Hospital. It was called the Friarage Manor House and in 1974, it was under threat of closure along with the rest of the hospital in the 1970s.

Inside, Thirteen will replace some flooring and structural timbers, and also make the site secure with new fencing and an information board.

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A Hartlepool Borough Council report said the Friarage was most recently used as a workhouse and hospital up until 1984 when the hospital was demolished.

The Grade II listed manor house is the surviving western gable wing of the former Friarage hospital and the building has now been empty for many years.

The council’s Heritage and Countryside department commented: “Both the Headland Conservation Area and the Friarage Manor House are

recognized as being at risk.”

In 2014, plans for a development comprising conversion of the manor house to make four homes, and build five houses, 11 bungalows and 18

apartments were approved by the council.

But the planning permission has now lapsed after the plan was not carried out.

The building has since fallen into a state of disrepair and Thirteen said without intervention it would continue to decay.

A heritage statement on behalf of new application stated: “The changes only seek to maintain and save the building and encourage interest in it and its history.”

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