Restoration of one of Doncaster's landmark historic buildings is completed
It has taken eight years – but the restoration of one of Doncaster's landmark historic buildings is completed.
The final room in the Victorian Rossington Hall, on Great North Road, has been restored eight years after the country house, which has origins dating back to the 1700s, was bought by businessman Gary Gee.
Mr Gee, who runs a company renting properties in Doncaster, bought the iconic building in May 2011 with the intention of restoring it to its Victorian prime.
His plan was to open it up in stages, with the income from the completed parts of the venue paying for the ongoing work. He and wife Michelle made the restoration their project – but Michelle did not live to see the work complete, as she died in 2016 after a battle with cancer.
It first opened with the downstairs section of the building offering weddings. Since then, the rest of the rooms have been turned into hotel, with bathrooms installed.
Now there are plans to do similar work on a 1920s extension to the building, which will provide accessible accommodation for disabled visitors. They are not allowed to fit lifts in the main building because the whole estate is listed.
There are now 21 bedrooms in the building.
Corporate events and business development manager at the hall, Gaynor Wand, said: “When Gary first bought it, it was just a wedding venue, because the rest of the building needed doing up.
“When he took over, it still looked like a council building inside. Previously it had suspended ceilings, and strip lighting. But the suspended ceilings had protected the plasterwork on the original ceilings.
“The first bedrooms started to open three years ago, and that kept money coming in to restore the others.”
The hotel now employs eight full time, with another eight working in maintanance roles.
Period furniture has been brought in from antique shops, and was delivered in three articulated lorries.
Plans are still ongoing to create a professional standard golf course on around the estate, and negotiations are ongoing on that project.
There also plans to improve the main driveway to the house and its grounds.
A hall was originally built on the site in 1771 as a family home. But the original hall, also known as Shooters Hill, was burned down towards the end of the 19th century.
It was was rebuilt in 1881 and retained its original use as a family home.
After the last resident died in 1937, Rossington Hall had a number of uses over the years including a training college for missionary priests and as a school for children with learning difficulties.
The special school closed in July 2008.
Unoccupied for several years it had fallen into a disrepair until Gary and Michelle bought the hall and its 250 acre estate with the plan to restore them to their former Victorian glory.