Care home plan for historic hall

Thorne Hall, Ellison Street, Thorne. Picture: Andrew Roe
Thorne Hall, Ellison Street, Thorne. Picture: Andrew Roe

A crumbling building in Thorne is set to be transformed into a ‘state-of-the-art’ care home, creating 70 jobs for local people.

Thorne Hall has finally been sold by the council to Yorkare Ltd, which plans to spruce it up into a 55-bed home.

The historic, Grade II listed landmark on Ellison Street had failed to sell at auction on a number of occasions over the last few years, with bidders failing to reach the £300,000 reserve price. It is unclear how much Yorkare Ltd paid for the building.

Coun Joe Blackham, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “We are looking to sell this Grade II Listed building to Yorkare Ltd who provided detailed plans of how they will invest a substantial sum to transform it into a new, state-of-the-art care home. This will provide new care places and jobs in the Thorne area once complete and rates will be paid to the council.

“The property has suffered from vandalism and general disrepair since its closure in April 2009 and its condition has deteriorated substantially. This sale will see the council dispose of a building that has become a liability in terms of its maintenance and will see Thorne Hall restored to its former glory and put back into use.”

The sale comes amid council proposals to close a number of council-run care homes in the borough following the announcement of a £109million wave of cuts in October.

Local Labour Coun Eddie Dobbs said: “As far as I’m concerned, the building is there, it needs to be used and I for one say yes, let them come and do this care home.

“Doncaster Council may be closing some care homes and this will make things better for the elderly people.

“This is great stuff. If it’s going to be used that’s absolutely fantastic. I’m all for it.”

Independent Coun Martin Williams added: “It’s been a long, drawn-out business to get it sorted but we have never given up on trying to get this old building back into use.

“We have been dealing with it for nine years. I’m absolutely delighted and it’s another tick in the box for bringing old buildings in Thorne back to use. It’s good news for Thorne.”

Many concerns were raised about the building’s future and the fact it could be allowed to go to ruin after it ceased to be used as an area housing office in 2009 and was put up for sale.

Recent images of the inside of the building reveal paint and wallpaper peeling off the walls, overturned furniture and layers of dust.

Thorne Hall dates back to the mid to late 18th century. It was listed due to its significance to the town of Thorne, demonstrating the thriving nature of the town at the time it was built following Charles I and Sir Cornelius Vermuyden’s drainage of Hatfield Chase - the first fen to be drained in England.

Inside the three-storey property, there are four ground floor reception rooms and a central entrance hall with staircase. The left pavilion wing leads to the ball room, and the right contains a service staircase. Upstairs are the old bedrooms and dressing rooms.

A planning application for the care home is set to be submitted to Doncaster Council once the paperwork for the sale has been finalised.