Historic almhouses in Thornton-le-Dale to get a £1m facelift

Gazette & Herald: An architect’s drawing of how the almouses will look An architect’s drawing of how the almouses will look

WORK is underway on a £1m scheme to modernise 350-year-old Grade II Listed almshouses in Ryedale.

Lady Lumley’s Almshouse Trust, in partnership with housing association Broadacres, and its developing partner Southdale, is carrying out the work on the historic almshouses in Thornton-le-Dale.

It follows a lengthy consultation process with residents living in the 12 almshouses, which were built as a gift to the village in 1658 from Viscountness Elizabeth Lumley who owned much of the land around the area.

Because of their age, the one-bedroom terraced homes, which are located in the centre of the village, are in need of a full modernisation programme, which will include the installation of new bathrooms, kitchens, heating, rewiring and insulation.

Due to their Grade II Listed status, the improvement work to the almshouses includes internal work and a large extension to the rear. One of the main changes involves moving people’s living rooms from the front to the back of the building so they look out onto the residents’ own gardens.

People living in the almshouses have been temporarily re-located to cottages at the Thornton-le-Dale Care and Retirement Park in Hurrell Lane. They will move back to their newly-refurbished homes when the work is completed in September.

The architects for the scheme are Bramhall Blenkhard Architects.

Fiona Coleman, development manager for Broadacres, said: “Refurbishing a Grade II Listed building is complex and requires a lot of planning, but in close consultation with the residents and the trust, we believe we have designed a scheme that is in keeping with the historic nature of the almshouses.

“Working within the existing shell of the building and providing a sympathetic new extension, the aim is to give residents the feeling of more space while ensuring they have a home that is fit for the 21st century and that will also meet the needs of future generations.”

David Fitzgerald, vice-president of Lady Lumley’s Educational Foundation, said: “As trustees we have a duty not only to provide the best accommodation we can for the residents but also to preserve these historic dwellings which are such an important feature of the village.”

Trudie McCormick, regional managing director for Southdale, said: “The Lady Lumley’s Almshouses modernisation is a very important project for Thornton-le-Dale, as it involves careful preservation and refurbishment of one of the community’s best known buildings.

"It is a very exciting project for Southdale and we are very happy to be working with Broadacres and the trust to ensure it is done sympathetically and in fitting with the unique architectural style of the almshouses.”

Almshouses are charitable housing provided to enable people, typically elderly people who can no longer work to earn enough to pay rent, to live in a particular community. They are generally maintained by a charity or the trustees of a bequest.


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