ONE of the North York Moors National Park’s landmark hotels, The Milburn Arms at Rosedale Abbey, has reopened after standing empty and neglected for five years.

Dating back to 1776, the one-time coaching inn has undergone a massive refurbishment by its new owners, Danby Castle Ltd, and say directors Carolyn and Duncan Bavister, the hotel and the historic castle will link up their facilities for such events as weddings.

The Milburn Arms, in the heart of the picture-postcard Rosedale, overlooking its village green, has had a makeover for all its 12 bedrooms - all named after well-known villages and towns in the National Park - and 62-cover restaurant.

Not only has the hotel been brought back to become a key part of Rosedale’s life, said Carolyn, but it, and Danby Castle, are now employing 30 local people.

The aim is for weddings to be held at the castle, whose most famous onetime resident was Katherine Parr, one of Henry VIII’s six wives, and for guests to stay at the luxury accommodation at the Milburn Arms.

The hotel was at the centre of a local row in Rosedale some two years ago when plans were revealed to convert it into a student hostel but the scheme was later abandoned.