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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Barrister buys historic Cumbrian hall to restore for son, 10

A barrister has snapped up a derelict historic hall near Longtown, which he plans to turn into a future home for his 10-year-old son.

Kirkhall buyer photo
Christopher Boyle and son Henry

The imposing Kirklinton Hall – which the Kray twins are said to have once visited – has been sold to Christopher Boyle, from the Mallsgate Hall estate at Roweltown.

He bought the Grade II-listed property for £311,000 at an auction in London last month. It had been on the market for some time.

Mr Boyle, 42, said it will one day become son Henry’s home.

“It is a spectacular, sinister ruin, he said. “I was one of three bidders.

“It will be Henry’s home in about 20 years time when he’s married.

“Our first job is to restore the gardens – they’re like Cumbria’s Lost Gardens of Heligan.

“We had a picnic here after I’d bought the property and we hung up the celebration bunting.”

The grass around the front of the three-storey property has already been cut, undergrowth strimmed down and trees removed from inside of the structure.

The facade is largely complete and the structure boasts ornate Jacobean-style Dutch gables and a garden waterfall. Built in the 1660s by the Appleby family, the hall was extended in 1875 and has had many guises since.

It was requisitioned by the RAF during the Second World War and briefly became home to evacuees from a school in Lancashire.

The building was then used for housing after the war before being converted into a hotel, nightclub and casino before gambling law changes forced its closure.

It later fell victim to a fire, leaving its interior badly scarred.

The roof was also taken off and the inside walls demolished, leaving the building as it stands today.

Mr Boyle said:“There is a story that the Kray twins once came here when it was a casino but I’m not sure how true that is.

“I’ve always kept my eye on it when I’ve driven past. A lot of people have fond memories of the hall as they had their 21sts and weddings here,” he added.

Mr Boyle is working with Carlisle architect Peter Rol on the house – which stands on a 14-acre site. Henry, a pupil at Aysgarth School in North Yorkshire, is helping with the designs.

“The plan is to convert the left-hand side of the building first and then take it from there,” said Mr Boyle, who is a trustee of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community – an architecture school and trust founded by the Prince of Wales which promotes a return of human values in architecture.

Mr Boyle will also use apprentices from England Civic Trust.

He said: “I hope to use the skills of some of the youngsters on the hall so they can learn traditional building skills like lead work and carpentry.”

The hall was already deteriorating when it was listed in 1974. Last year, a Cornwall-based property company unveiled plans to convert the hall, stable block and coach house into 13 homes and add a stone wall wing with five properties and a courtyard garage block with four homes above.

Have your say

Dear All

Thank you so much for your comments. We would love to hear from you again even if you only have the same things to say. Please email info@kirklintonhall.co.uk. We are especially interested in Edward Cain as we heard that he went awol after the tax laws changed.

It would be wonderful to welcome any and all of you back to Kirklinton Hall also. We officially open on April 1st.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Alice x

Posted by Alice Doyne on 30 January 2014 at 16:39

My parents ran the hall as a nightclub, cabaret venue and casino during the 1960's. I was born there in 1967. We have photographs of our family cleaning & painting the outside of the Hall - quite a task up a ladder! My father can still talk for hours about his adventures during that period and some of the characters that our family - from London - got to know. His stories are the stuff of family legend. I understand from my father that there were many famous visitors to the Hall including Tommy Cooper and Procul Harem. The family business at the Hall ran out of steam when gambling tax was introduced and with the drink driving law. Good luck to the new owners and their project. The Hall has a very special place in our family's history and while I personally am rather jealous it will be good to know that it is not being left to go to further rack and ruin.

Posted by Edward Cain on 9 February 2013 at 17:08

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