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Country News - 2002

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Top architectural awards for Dales projects
Thursday 26 September 2002

TWO restored buildings in the Yorkshire Dales, one of them the estate office at Bolton Abbey, have won major architectural awards for the way they blend in with the landscape.

The second award went to a barn saved from dereliction by being converted into bunkhouse accommodation for walkers on a stunning site overlooking Littondale.

The awards were made by the Country Land and Business Association (the CLA) in its Farm and Country Buildings Awards, part of an on-going campaign to encourage the conversion of old buildings in a way which is sympathetic to the local environment.

At Bolton Abbey, the judges were particularly impressed by the way in which traditional construction methods had been used to make the estate office development blend with existing buildings. It was judged best in its category.

The original building is about 100 years old and was formerly the village institute and reading room. When a new village hall was built in the 1960s, it was converted into the estate office. New alterations and further extensions now triple the offices in size.

The judges also liked the way the car park had been extended and the buildings made fully accessible to the less able bodied.

Ellergill Barn at Halton Gill at the foot of Horse Head Pass, which was becoming derelict before work started, won a commendation. With stunning views of Littondale, is now a bunkhouse sleeping up to 14 people.

Owned by John Cowan of Ellershaw Farm, it retains its original features, including the stone threshing floor. Originally the barn had three bays with a lean-to extension. Fodder storage was provided above.

"At £70,000, the cost of the work shows how much care was taken to retain original features," said the judges. "Mr Cowan also had to install water and sewage treatment plants and provide an electricity and water supply. We were impressed with this imaginative idea to save the barn from dereliction."

Yorkshire Tourist Board provided a grant of £17,000 towards the project.

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