They’re going to bulldoze Middleham Castle….?

Manor Farm and Middleham Castle

….Yes, for a dreadful moment I thought they were going to bulldoze Middleham Castle! Oh, horrors. But no, it’a a plan for bulldozing Manor Farm, the proximity of which to the castle is clear in the above photograph.

If you go to this link you’ll see that “….Racehorse owners John and Jess Dance said their proposal to redevelop 289-acre Manor House Farm in Middleham, would see the farmhouse, agricultural buildings and stables demolished replaced with buildings for racehorse training, hospitality and housing for some of the yard’s 35 new employees….”

Oh shudders. At the moment the farm buildings blend with the castle, but I hate to imagine what the proposed replacement might entail. I have very little faith in modern architecture, agreeing with the Prince of Wales about designs that resemble a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend”.

Middleham Castle is indeed a much-loved and elegant friend! Still, fingers crossed that good taste prevails.


  1. Surely they need to go through a planning process. I haven’t hit the link, yet. Hopefully everyone will oppose such a project. Surely a better idea would be to run a tastefully designed nice B and B and tea shop from the farm building, while keeping the character of the place. A new development will be noisy and dirty as its being built and cause disruption and change the character of the area, which is grounds for opposition. People really have no taste and no imagination or sense of heritage.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I can’t believe this! Surely this will not get approved? Why on Earth do people buy these lovely places – and then want to change them? If they want modern or bigger premises, go somewhere else!!!
    This is the car track on Bosworth battlefield all over again. I do hope everyone in Middleham objects to this sacrilege.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Just take your plans down the hill for goodness sake and leave these lovely buildings blending in with the surroundings as they already do.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with the three previous comments. As Blancsanglier said, it made me think again of the awful trauma we went through trying to stop the car track on Bosworth battlefield. The whole thing just makes me shudder! Fingers crossed this gets stopped at the planning permission stage.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is a massive commercial concern and is immensely worrying for the eventual ambience of Middleham Castle.
    An indoor riding school – those things are vast! (The only acceptable version would be a stone-built copy of the Bolsover Castle one, built for the Duke of Newcastle in the C17th) But chances are, because of costs, it will be a huge metal shed, not stone-built to fit in the landscape
    Hospitality – Staff Canteen? Public Tea rooms? Full-blown restaurant for the upper class rich clients? With all the constant deliveries and comings and goings that go along with that – bustling is too homely a word for the disturbance!
    On-site housing for up to 35 staff. Yes, necessary for the care of the livestock, but again, the comings and goings, their visitors, social life – of necessity they are generally young. It would be like having a Students’ Hall of Residence next door – and I could predict now that it would not be stone-built to blend with the area…
    Add to that the constant increased traffic along those narrow country roads, I cannot see how any Planning Committee could look with favour on it, but planning laws these days can be thrown out of the window by the Secrerary of State on appeal, and costs to fall back on the local authority.
    Here We Go Again…. another Doomed Forlorn Hope?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. If this does go through (wish that it doesn’t) I hope whoever are the trustees for the maintenance of Middleham Castle will do what they can to acquire the stones from the farm to use as a source of materials for the upkeep of the castle. Having the proper age and exposure would make replacement of decayed stone much nicer.


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