This page highlights large country houses at risk - from the newly abandoned to the near-ruinously derelict. Though some houses may be beyond saving, there is still hope, if someone with enough money and sensitivity can be found to undertake sympathetic restoration or reconstruction. If you would like more information on Buildings at Risk please become a Friend of SAVE Britain's Heritage who have details of over 800 buildings in need of care and restoration - perhaps you can play your part in preserving our heritage.
'The Country Seat' is the UK's only blog dedicated to our country houses; history, architects, successes and those at risk.
There are many houses under threat; some probably near to where you live - be aware of local threats to your heritage. If you have any suggestions for others to be added then please contact me.
Note: these properties are almost always on PRIVATE grounds with no right of access. There are also numerous dangers within them due to their state of disrepair. Please do not attempt to visit these properties as by doing so you may help strengthen the usually weak arguments of those who wish to demolish them.
Annesley Hall, near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
Bank Hall, Bretherton, Lancashire
Barmoor Castle, Lowick, Northumberland
Blackborough Hall, Devon (currently for sale through Strutt & Parker [Sept 2020])
Castle Goring, Goring, Sussex
Doddington Hall, Cheshire - exterior has been restored but interior is still 'extremely hazardous'.
Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire
Extwistle Hall, Briercliffe, Lancashire
Firbeck Hall, Nottinghamshire - despite some encouraging work by the owner the house suffered a serious fire in July 2009 (More images available at 28 Days Later)
Gainford Hall, County Durham
Gibside, County Durham - grounds now National Trust.
Darsham House, Suffolk
Great Barr Hall, Warwickshire
Grimethorpe Hall, Grimethorpe, Yorkshire
Guy's Cliffe House, Warwickshire
Hanworth Park House
High Head Castle, Cumbria
Hope Hall, Bramham, nr Leeds
Kelly House, Devon
Kirklinton Hall, Cumbria - update: currently being restored
Melton Constable Hall, Melton Constable, Norfolk
Overstone Hall, Northamptonshire
Poltimore House, Devon
Revesby Abbey, Lincolnshire
Rheda - the stables, Cumbria
Riber Castle, Derbyshire
Roydon Hall, Kent
Salhouse Hall, Norfolk
Shadwell Park, Brettenham, Norfolk
Staindrop Hall, County Durham
Stayley Hall, Stayley, Lancashire
Stone Cross Mansion, Ulvaston, Cumbria
Thornseat Lodge, Sheffield
Tottenham House, Wiltshire
Winstanley Hall, Winstanley, Wigan
Baron Hill, Anglesey (further photos)
Hafodunos Hall, Llangernyw
Plas Gwynfryn, Gwynedd
Cambusnethan Priory, Gowkthrapple, Wishaw
Crawford Priory, Cupar, Fife
Culdees Castle, Perthshire
Eastend House, Lanarkshire
Haddo House, Aberdeenshire
Kidalton Castle, Isle of Islay
Lennox Castle, Glasgow
Pennyghael House, Isle of Mull
Poltalloch House, Kilmartin, Argyll & Bute
Sometimes a house that's even deteriorated to such an extent that it's been added to the list of lost houses can still be rescued.
One case in particular was that of Hellifield Peel, a small fortified manor house/castle, in North Yorkshire. Last inhabited just after WWII it had fallen into serious disrepair and was now listed as a scheduled ancient monument. However, following the brave decision of a local architect to realise a childhood dream of living in a castle, Hellifield Peel has been brilliantly restored to a family home.
To see the transformation, have a look at the castle before restoration, and how it looks now. A real testament to one man's vision and commitment.
Ashmans Hall, Suffolk - after lying derelict for many years this has now been restored.
Astley Castle, Warwickshire - cleverly restored with new build woven into the existing ruins and now available for holiday rental
Axwell Hall, Blaydon, Tyne and Wear - this elegant house has been subject to a multi-million pound programme to restore and convert it into apartments and is now well on the road to being brought back to life. Architects: Ross Sharpe Architects
Brougham Hall - Brougham, Cumbria. One of the finest houses of its type it had largely fallen into an advanced state of dereliction before a dedicated team of volunteers started work in 1985. Now, significant sections have been restored and it is open to the public.
Corngreaves Hall, Staffordshire - after many years of neglect and vandalism, the house has now been restored and converted to nine apartments.
Dropmore House - a Grade-I listed house which suffered a devastating fire in 1990 but has since been restored through conversion into high-spec apartments.
Bylaugh Hall - Dereham, Norfolk. Designed by Charles Barry but unroofed in the 1950s and left as a ruin, Bylaugh Hall has now been rescued beautifully restored as a hotel and conference venue.
Hankelow Hall - Cheshire. At its core, the house was 14th-century but had largely rebuilt in the Georgian era with an unusually high parapet. After being abandoned for many years, it was bought in 1989 by a local property developer who has spent the past two decades restoring the house and grounds.
Hill Hall - Theydon Mount, Essex. A Grade-I listed Elizabethan mansion with some of the earliest Renaissance brickwork in England. Largely gutted by a fire in 1969, and nearly demolished in 1974, it remained a ruin until 1984 when English Heritage spent £2m on repairs to make it a viable water-tight shell. In partnership with a private developer the house was subdivided into apartments with some of the most historic areas remaining available to the public via English Heritage.
Pell Wall Hall - Market Drayton, Shropshire. One of the rare country houses designed by Sir John Soane, this elegant and beautiful villa was a school, and then once that had closed, was mistreated with no maintenance, a difficult owner and a suspicious fire in 1986. Today, thanks to the efforts of a determined group of former pupils, it has been restored to a viable shell and is now in the process of being restored back to being a family home.
Scraptoft Hall, Leicestershire - now restored as apartments.
Sockburn Hall, Sockburn, County Durham - after suffering from significant deterioration both inside and out, the house has now been bought and repaired by a local businessman to a high standard.
Woodfold Hall - Woodfold, Lancashire. A beautiful house built by James Wyatt in 1798 which was, by turns, ravaged by requisition and dry rot, and reduced to a shell it has now been restored and converted into apartments.
Worden Old Hall - Chorley, Lancashire